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 "public property" ...

  • Unchecked Power

    After losing hard-fought reelection campaigns, Alabama’s sheriffs often turn their attention to undermining their successors in ways that abuse the public trust. On his way out the door, one sheriff drilled holes in government-issued cell phones, while another pocketed public money intended to feed inmates. The ousted leaders dumped jail food down the drain and burned through tens of thousands of sheriff's office dollars by purchasing thousands of rolls of toilet paper. These are among the findings of my six-month investigation into these practices for AL.com and the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. In June 2019, I chronicled the actions of nine defeated Alabama sheriffs, seven of whom allegedly destroyed public property, stole public funds and/or wasted taxpayer money after their electoral defeats. These stories were made possible by my realization that incoming sheriffs were often more willing to talk on the record about the bad behavior and criminality of predecessors who had taken advantage of them than they would be under other circumstances.
  • The Center for Public Integrity: Wireless Wars: The Fight Over 5G

    One of the largest deployments of wireless technology in decades is occurring as telecommunications companies erect a new network of small cells to support the next generation of wireless communications called 5G. The problem, however, brings these small cells into neighborhoods and business districts, unlike the larger towers seen along highways and in fields far from centers of population. And with it, resistance from citizens. The clash pits telecoms, which want to ease regulations to reduce costs, against local governments and their residents, who want to control the look and placement of the cells and defend revenue and public property rights. The Center reports on how the telecoms are relying on money and tried-and-true relationships with politicians and regulators to get their way. And they are winning.
  • San Diego's waterfront

    inewsource's investigation uncovered the back-room deals and power politics that shaped some of the most valuable — and public — waterfront land in southern California. With two long-form stories told through every medium possible — text, photo, video, audio, graphics, maps and social media — inewsource helped prevent the same deviant process from occurring again in a neighboring (and equally valuable) plot of land currently under development. The series also helped kickstart mitigation efforts to make part of the original land more publicly accessible. The first story was told using inewsource’s unique transparency technique of providing an interactive text version of the story, allowing readers to view the documentation behind nearly every sentence for themselves using DocumentCloud.
  • A Slippery Slope

    The series examines a Boston sidewalk that has led to accessibility issues for people with disabilities.
  • A Rapid Rise

    This investigation examined dozens of unusual real estate deals in working-class neighborhoods in which buyers made low-ball offers to desperate sellers. The recorded sales prices, however, were tens of thousands of dollars more. These deals happened during a precipitous decline in Florida’s housing boom. In each transaction, the buyers borrowed close to the full amount from lenders. The investigations showed that the money between the price paid to the sellers and the recorded sales prices was paid to a third party. This was not always disclosed to the lenders, which is against state and federal law. All the deals involved the same real estate agent, the same title company and the same group of buyers. The same appraiser was used in many of the cases, and the appraisals reflected the higher price. As a result of the inflated prices, property values were artificially raised for the rest of the neighborhoods, resulting in higher taxes.
  • Watchdog Report: Digging into City Hall's Money Mess

    A two-month investigation found that the city of San Diego did not have records showing how much land it owned or how it was being used. The city did have an inventory of property, but it was in complete disarray. Not only was it missing land, but it also included property the city didn't own. And the city's records didn't always reflect how the land actually was being used. For instance, one parcel labeled as a street was actually a vacant lot. We found that the city also was neglecting some of its most valuable land. It owned a rat-infested house in La Jolla that had been vacant for more than a decade. A lot that a woman had bequeathed to the city to benefit parks and libraries was covered with trash.
  • Bitter Harvest

    Tri-City Herald investigates "a series of deaths, environmental damage and accidents that were traced back to one Columbia Basin farm -- the largest organic farm in the state." The stories reveal that the managers of the mint farm - the two brothers Mike and Gerald "Spud" Brown -- were ignoring pollution and state laws. Meanwhile, government "agencies failed to take decisive action to prevent deaths and pollution."
  • Air Force Academy Superintendent Kitchen Spending

    A Gazette investigation revealed that the Air Force Academy "used military readiness money to remodel generals' homes including $308,000 spent on a kitchen.... The Air Force isn't alone in the practice. The Navy recently told Congress it had spent $5.6 million in readiness money on admirals' homes... "
  • (Untitled)

    The Los Angeles Times uncovers a group of Saudi Arabian businessmen and arms brokers that, with approval from the Board of Supervisors, secretly acquired long-term leases on public property at Marina del Rey, Nov. 12 - 13, 1989.