Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "private" ...

  • How Mike Ilitch scored a new Red Wings arena: Hockeytown’s Caesar gets a sweet deal. But what’s in it for Detroit?

    This story focused on the implications of a massive $650 million proposed Detroit Red Wings hockey arena in downtown Detroit, and the lengths the NHL team's owner had to go behind the scenes to make it happen. Since it was announced, other outlets have reported on the project in a mostly positive light. There was more to it, however. Instead of relying on reports from the elected officials who supported this project, this project unraveled the intimate details of how the deal was crafted and arrived at a far more uncertain conclusion: While this deal may, on the surface, seem like a win for Detroit, that's far from clear. Moreover, with little public involvement, the basic structure of the deal was created by a small group of individuals in private. And although Detroit will certainly benefit from the new project as it relates to the positive public perception of having a new, state of the art stadium in the city, the financial aspects of the deal reveals a far more questionable result.
  • Legislative Spending

    The Morning Call created Pennsylvania’s first-ever map-based online database that sheds a light on how the state’s 253 lawmakers spent at least $13.8 million in taxpayer money in 2013. The result of The Morning Call’s efforts, Watchdog Report: Legislative Spending, published in three stories and accompanied by online maps and records, is nothing short of a virtual audit. It is the only place taxpayers – and lawmakers themselves -- can go to see how 203 representatives and 50 senators spent money because the Legislature has never done a similar in-depth audit. The stories and database allows users to compare how much lawmakers spent on anything they want, from office rents to meals to hotels to a private consultant who promoted a lawmaker’s acting gig. With such leeway and latitude, it’s easy to see why the Legislature wants to keep spending records from the public eye.
  • Colgate Total Ingredient Linked to Hormones, Cancer Spotlights FDA Process

    Kary exposed health risks posed by antibacterial chemical triclosan in Colgate Total toothpaste, in part by examining pages of Colgate-Palmolive's Food and Drug Administration application that were kept private after the toothpaste's 1997 approval. These previously undisclosed pages, summaries of scientific studies Colgate submitted as part of its new-drug application, contained indications of a potential health danger in one of America's top-selling toothpastes, according to scientists who reviewed them for Bloomberg News. Kary's article raises important questions, including whether the FDA did appropriate due diligence in approving Total 17 years ago, and whether its approval should stand in light of new research. By combining tough and fair investigative reporting, clear science writing and an examination of America's regulatory system, Kary's piece gave readers a valuable new tool for decision-making on an important health and wellness front.
  • New Scrutiny of City's Library Trustees

    The city's libraries play an increasingly important role in the lives of immigrant, low-income and young New Yorkers. This story looks into the unique way New York's three library systems are run: with hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money overseen by private boards of wealthy people with limited expertise and potential conflicts subject to little transparency or accountability.
  • Proposed Virginia Beach Arena Deal

    The idea of building an arena to lure a professional sports team to Virginia has been batted around for years. Virginia Beach is the latest to pitch a deal that may be privately funded or publicly funded-- or both. After discovering secret meetings were being held by city staffers tasked with researching the deal, our Investigative Reporter, Nick Ochsner began asking questions the city didn't want to answer.
  • The Sig Sauer affair

    In a series of articles Sueddeutsche Zeitung uncovered how Germany's oldest weapons manufacturer - Sig Sauer - illegally delivered weapons to Colombia, Brasil, Iraq, and assumingly Pakistan and India. After reporting these findings, Sig Sauer’s office was searched and the company was served a temporary export ban. In the weeks since, the investigators have also searched the offices of the overseeing holding company and the private homes of the two owners. Meanwhile a FCPA-investigation is running against Sig Sauer's sister company Sig Sauer Inc.
  • Contract to Cheat

    McClatchy Newspapers is proud to submit "Contract to Cheat" for consideration in the Philip Meyer Journalism awards "Contract to Cheat" relied upon federal payroll records submitted by private companies building public projects. The records enabled reporters to estimate the lost tax revenue associated with the illegal practice of treating workers who should be employees as independent contractors. Tens of thousands of pages of payroll records formed the backbone of our report, while the construction workers and company owners listed on the reports allowed us to capture the human impact of the labor scheme. Wrestling the records into usable and compelling data was a significant - though worthwhile - challenge for McClatchy staff.
  • Derailing of Justice Reform

    An investigation by Oklahoma Watch found that senior members of the governor's staff worked behind-the scenes to derail key parts of a program aimed at lowering the state's high incarceration rates and reducing the population of its overcrowded prisons. During this period, staff members met with representatives of private prisons that stood to gain or lose from the justice reform initiative, depending on how it was implemented, and the specifically discussed the initiative. The governor and key legislators also collected donations from these for-profit private-prison companies just before, during and after the legislative session in which legislation was pushed to wrest control of overseeing the initiative from reforms and put it in the hands of the governor and legislative leaders.
  • UNO: For insiders, charter schools pay

    This investigation exposed millions of dollars in insider deals made by a major operator of taxpayer-financed, privately run charter schools in Chicago. It prompted: the freezing of state funding; the ouster of the organization's top two officials; two state investigations; and one federal investigation.
  • Public Service, Private Benefit

    This two-year-long investigation by AP reporter Mike Baker focuses on a Washington state retirement system for law enforcement officers and firefighters, exploring how some retirees managed to spike their pension values with late raises, how exorbitant medical expenses in the system are hampering local governments, how extreme numbers of disability retirements are costing the government tax revenue, and how some have been able to secure retire-rehire deals despite state efforts to stop such arrangements. The series is based on more than 100 public records requests, many dozens of interviews, the analysis of more than 30 government datasets and the review of thousands of pages of government emails, meeting notes, contracts and actuarial reports. Lawmakers, state officials and a pension oversight board have all taken action in response to the AP series, and the state Legislature is expected to consider alterations to the system during the 2014 session. Leaders in the state retirement system have conducted a variety of audits targeting the cases identified in AP’s stories and are now seeking to collect overpayments and recalculate benefits for some of those former workers. State officials believe they can collect or save nearly $1 million as a result of investigations completed so far, and the state expects to announce additional enforcement actions in the coming months.