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Search results for "state government" ...

  • Treasury Luxury Travel

    The Oregonian's investigation spotlighted an obscure corner of state government where Wall Street practices became business as usual, where a set of high-paid employees were granted special exemptions to operate outside the scope of state gift and ethics laws, and functioned with little internal or public oversight. The newspaper revealed that state investment officers charged with monitoring more than $50 billion in state pension investments routinely travel in luxury, paid for by taxpayers and the Wall Street investment managers they are supposed to be overseeing. They stay at high-end resorts and five-star hotels, eat at celebrated restaurants and fly first class. The tab is often picked up by investment firms managing Oregon's investments, who are competing for hundreds of millions of dollars in fees that the pension fund pays annually. The state treasury didn't monitor that travel. It kept no record of the expenses or gratuities provided its employees. And it ignored the potential conflicts of interest.
  • The Texas

    Mentally disabled residents of a school in Texas were forced to be a part of a “fight club” run at night. The brutality of this was highly disturbing and it terrified these residents. Many of them tried to leave, but the staff members continuously forced them back and continued the abuse. Since all this information was revealed, these former staff members have been found guilty of felony charges of injury to the mentally ill and face time in prison.
  • State of Neglect

    The state of Texas, which is one of the nation’s wealthiest states, is faced with low rankings in social benefits. These benefits include “assistance to poor children and the malnourished, treatment of the mentally ill, care of the disabled and many other social indicators”. This series reveals special interests are being heard and are shaping laws and decisions in the state of Texas.
  • Broke State

    As the country suffers from the recession, so does the state of California but not directly from the country’s recession. California’s recession is based off of poor spending decisions from legislators, representatives, and a number of agencies. Most of these bad decisions are costing the taxpayers “millions of dollars” and they are seeing little benefit from these costs.
  • Gaming the System: Public Pensions the Massachusetts Way

    The series reveals the “manipulations of the state public pension system by legislators, ex-legislators, and local city councilors for their own and their friends’ enrichment, and at taxpayers’ expense”. Overall, this series describes the public pension abuse and the specific findings of the series.
  • The rise and fall of Ray Sansom, speaker of the Florida House

    Ray Sansom, the speaker of the Florida House, gave the state college “$35 million in two years”. These two years he oversaw the House budget, but wasn’t the speaker quite yet. Furthermore, these millions of dollars were added outside the normal budget method. Additionally, he worked with the college president to help maneuver the funds to the college.
  • Making Mistakes: Absentee Ballot Investigation

    The story reveals problems with the counting of absentee ballots for the 2008 US Senate election recount. Apparently, absentee ballots were being accepted and counted, even though they didn’t follow the strict rules of the state. The final margin of victory was “312 votes”. Not a large number and leads to suspicion, which has made way for changes in the way future votes will be counted.
  • Dysfunctional government

    This series describes a state government employee having jobs where he has zero tasks and often his position is referred to as “no-show jobs”. This worker has gone a number of years without doing any work, even after a number of requests for duties and tasks. Furthermore, the series looks at the inflated compensation for state officials.
  • Executive Privilege

    The former governor of North Carolina, Mike Easley, is the focus of this series. Easley accepted a number of free items such as flights, golf club membership, and a discount on a coastal lot. Further, a new job was created strictly for his wife and Easley cleared a friend of DMV violations. He also was involved with a number of other dishonorable activities, which led to state and federal investigations.
  • New Orleans's tech contracting scandal

    Former top mayoral aide, Greg Meffert, was caught in a web of self-dealing and exposed free vacations that the mayor had received. The series “helped the FBI and other federal investigators track the payments and relationships”. Also, it eventually “led to a 63-count federal criminal indictment against Meffert, his wife and the city vendor, Mark St. Pierre”.