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Search results for "state attorney" ...

  • WUFT: Cost of Sunshine

    Public record requests of various county and local governments were made in an effort to determine the number of public record requests received by each governmental unit, the cost to provide access to the requested records, the fees recovered from requestors, and copies of agency public record access policies. Those governmental units not audited received a survey designed to obtain the same information sought in the public record requests. Public record requests included all county constitutional officers in nine Florida counties as well as the city clerk in the county seat. County constitutional officers include the state attorney; sheriff; clerk of court; tax collector; property appraiser; supervisor of elections; public defender; and school superintendent. Counties were chosen based on geographic and population diversity. Six state agencies were also included: Executive Office of Governor, Attorney General,Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Financial Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
  • ProJo: Suffering in the Shadows: Elder abuse in Rhode Island

    Rhode Island has one of the nation’s highest elderly populations, and a special unit in the state Attorney General’s office dedicated to prosecuting elder abuse. But over 17 years, fewer than half of those charged were convicted of this felony, and only 13 percent served any prison time. The reasons are many, the solutions a challenge -- but there are jurisdictions that do this better.
  • A "sting" buried

    The Philadelphia Inquirer triggered arrests, legislative reforms, ethics investigations, resignations – and political turmoil statewide – after the newspaper revealed that Pennsylvania’s attorney general had secretly shut down an undercover investigation that had caught public officials on tape taking money or gifts. In late 2013, state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane secretly shut down a sting operation that had captured officials on tape accepting cash from an operative posing as a lobbyist ostensibly seeking political influence and government contracts. Her decision was kept from the public – restricted under court seal – for months until Inquirer reporters Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis broke the story. Their initial package sparked a statewide furor – and set the stage for months of additional investigative pieces and news developments.
  • CBS News: Rape Kit Investigation

    Following the CBS News series that exposed more than 20,000 untested rape kits nationwide, Nancy Cordes revisited the Cleveland Police Department which told CBS they “had no idea how many kits they had and would not count.” Since this piece, they have found over 5,000 untested kits. A new county prosecutor, Tim McGinty, met with the State Attorney General to get funding to test ALL of the kits and conceded that mistakes were made and urged officials to dig into the “goldmine” of kits. After testing half of the kits they indicted over 200 rapists, a third of them are serial rapists. Our story broke the news that other cities had major problems with untested kits. We partnered with Joyful Heart Foundation to test all kits to break the news that some cities test 100% of their kits, but Las Vegas only tested 15% and Tulsa, Oklahoma has 3,400 untested kits. Since our story, Nevada Attorney General, Adam Laxalt, announced plans to tackle the backlog as one of his tasks in the New Year.
  • A stickup. A manhunt. A mistake?

    Herald-Tribune reporter Elizabeth Johnson spent nine months investigating a case in which Andre Bryant was convicted of robbing a deputy's wife and children at gunpoint in southwest Florida. In her report, Johnson writes about new evidence which suggests Bryant's innocence, including: the alleged confessions of another criminal for this crime, a victim's statement that she was told to choose Bryant from a photo lineup even though he did not look like the robber and a juror who says he was bullied into the guilty verdict. Now, Bryant's case is returning to court. The State Attorney's Office is conducting a review of the case, and the Innocence Project of Florida has agreed to defend Bryant.
  • A Season Of Drama At The San Diego Opera

    When the board of the San Diego Opera, one of the region’s most prominent arts institutions, abruptly announced it would close after nearly 50 years, the shock reverberated nationally. San Diego’s opera had been held up as a well-run organization with a balanced budget. But suddenly, it was shutting down and essentially blaming the audience. But a KPBS/inewsource investigation found there was plenty of blame to go around, enough to eventually prompt the state Attorney General to open an inquiry. Public records, leaked documents and sound sourcing revealed questionable financial practices at the opera and a 58-member board of directors more interested in socializing than running an arts organization with a multi-million dollar budget. It also exposed a highly compensated, intransigent leadership whose arrogant insistence on expensive, grand opera over consumer-friendly innovations nearly doomed the institution.
  • Courting Favor

    All-out lobbying has spread from legislative chambers into the state attorney general’s office all across the land. Too many of those who call themselves “the people’s lawyers” turn out to be another tribe of elected politicians to be catered to. Eric Lipton, a reporter for The New York Times, captured the lobbyists at work in a nine-month investigation that accomplished what no journalist had ever succeeded in doing: showing in irrefutable detail how corporations sway and co-opt the very state officials elected to protect consumers and individual citizens.
  • The Record: Investigating the Port Authority

    Shawn Boburg's reporting on the Port Authority resulted in two eye-opening stories that garnered international attention: one that revealed the hidden origins of a secret deal involving the naming rights of the World Trade Center; another that unraveled the true cause of a vindictive traffic jam orchestrated by Governor Chris Christie's loyalists and directed at one of his political enemies. Boburg found that the naming rights of the World Trade Center, one of the country's most iconic symbols, was sold in 1986 to a nonprofit that was run by a retiring Port Authority executive. Guy Tozzoli made millions of dollars from the deal, which went unnoticed for decades until Boburg's story prompted an investigation by the New York State Attorney General. Boburg also produced a series of investigative stories that challenged the official line about lane closures near the world's busiest bridge, eventually uncovering e-mails that linked the closures to the governor's office and forcing Christie to apologize and get rid of key advisors. Aside from a series of news breaks that kept the pressure on for months, Boburg was also the first to report on the e-mails that sent shockwaves through the Christie administration.
  • Moms: Hospital Killed Our Kids

    The outside of the Kentucky Children's Hospital is all colorful paintings and smiling photos, but inside there's a dark secret. Connor Wilson was the first to die, on August 30, at six months old. His parents, while heartbroken, didn't think anything was amiss until another baby in the same ward, Rayshawn Lewis-Smith, died. Then they found out Waylon Rainey, also on the cardiac surgery floor, coded and was on life support and a fourth baby, Jaxon Russell needed a second surgery at another hospital to fix a heart surgery he'd had a Kentucky Children's. All of these events happened within eight weeks, after which the hospital closed its cardiac surgery program and placed its chief surgeon on leave. When the parents asked the hospital questions, the hospital wouldn't answer them. When a local reporter started asking questions, the hospital sued her. When the state Attorney General asked these same basic questions - how many pediatric heart surgeries they did, their mortality rates - the hospital refused to hand over the data. When the AG ruled they were in violation of state law by not releasing their data, the hospital appealed the ruling. Now the hospital says they plan to re-open their pediatric cardiac surgery program, and these parents are up in arms. How could the hospital possibly open back up with this kind of track record, without even releasing the most basic safety data, which many other hospitals release all the time? And why haven't state or federal regulators rushed in to stop the program from re-opening - they haven't even opened an investigation. Elizabeth Cohen investigates.
  • Hampton's Cigarette Sting

    A tip that a high ranking officer at the Hampton Police Division had been placed on administrative leave for alleged misconduct piqued our curiosity. Eventually, it led to the revelation that several officers had been involved in a secret cigarette operation with a stated mission to crack down on the black-market tobacco trade. We discovered that millions of dollars had flowed through the undercover firm’s secret account, including tens of thousands of dollars for travel, and hundreds of thousands of dollars for new fully-loaded vehicles. Not only were the financial controls over the operation extremely lax, but not a single arrest resulted from the 19-month sting. Moreover, the City Council wasn’t told about the more than $720,000 in the company’s account until told about it by the Daily Press. Eventually — after the city first seemed to assert that was no problem with the operation — there were consequences. The police chief was soon placed on administrative leave, and a few weeks later he resigned from office. The city manager issued a statement confirming that financial protocols had not been followed. She ordered an outside audit and requested a state Attorney General’s opinion as to whether the cops had the authority to run these sorts of “churning” operations. Had the Daily Press not pressed for details over the course of months of investigating reporting, the entire operation might have forever remained a secret.