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 "taxpayer dollars" ...

  • KARE 11 Investigates: Double Billing the Badge - The Patrol Car Payback

    KARE 11's groundbreaking multi-year investigation "Double Billing the Badge - The Patrol Car Payback" exposed a complex scheme to overcharge hundreds of police agencies on thousands of squad cars. It led to a criminal conviction, reforms in state procurement policies, and a massive refund of taxpayer dollars.
  • KARE 11 Investigates: “Double Billing the Badge – The Patrol Car Payback”

    “Double Billing the Badge – The Patrol Car Payback” exposed a complex scheme to overcharge hundreds of police agencies on thousands of squad cars. It has prompted a criminal conviction, reforms in state procurement policies, and a massive refund of taxpayer dollars.
  • A County In Crisis

    Our investigation in Clay County, Missouri, exposed possible misuse of taxpayers’ funds, questionable credit card expenses, slashed budgets, infighting among elected county officials and the mishandling of a program designed to ensure the indigent receive a proper burial. We learned the body of one indigent woman sat in the morgue for a year.
  • Corruption in the Cumberland

    For a year, the News4 I-Team investigated political corruption in the Upper Cumberland area of Middle Tennessee. The investigation has resulted in two criminal investigations into mayors, the termination of the head of a government agency, a state investigation, a state audit, a federal lawsuit and the payback of taxpayer dollars.
  • Hattiesburg taxpayers fund liquor, jewelry, and gifts

    WDAM uncovered misspending of taxpayer dollars at the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission. In summary, the city imposes an extra two percent tax on restaurant food purchases in the city to help fund tourism in the area. That money was instead spent on luxury items such as Tiffany jewelry and family vacations by the executive director and several people working for him. https://vimeo.com/151837779 http://www.wdam.com/story/28416053/investigation-hattiesburg-taxpayers-fund-liquor-jewelry-and-gifts
  • Charter Schools Unsupervised

    Florida’s charter-school laws were intended to spur innovation and provide academic freedom to charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run. But a Sun Sentinel investigation found the state’s loose laws also opened the door to abuses, allowing renegade operators to claim taxpayer dollars for schools that fail to serve students and quickly shut down, sometimes within weeks of opening. Charter Schools Unsupervised uniquely pieced together the rash of fly-by-night charter schools and recurring failures of unscrupulous operators, uncovering fundamental weaknesses in state and local oversight. The newspaper's reporting did what the state and school district vetting process failed to do: exposed troubled histories and questionable practices among charter-school operators in South Florida.
  • DeKalb County's Climate of Corruption

    This investigation revealed a local government teeming with corruption, including kickbacks and theft of taxpayer dollars. They exposed rampant spending with no oversight, first through the use of county purchasing cards, then with an invoice payment system that also lacked controls. Their investigation caught county officials spending their discretionary budgets on airline tickets, family vacations, gift cards, cell phone bills, high-end electronics and other personal expenses. One commissioner even paid a speeding ticket and funneled tens of thousands of dollars to her boyfriend. Their reporting led to an ongoing FBI investigation, a guilty plea from a longtime county official, and pending subpoenas that could yield even more indictments. County leaders have enacted new spending policies and strengthened their board of ethics.
  • Holding Officials Accountable

    “Holding Officials Accountable” focuses on four separate WVUE investigations. Our investigative team’s extensive research drove each of these series and uncovered questionable - and in two instances illegal - spending of hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars. The investigations held officials accountable by asking tough questions and pushing for answers that launched federal and state investigations and led to two separate corruption charges. Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3NSAFpEfsc&feature=youtu.be
  • Private Schools

    More than 180 privately run schools in New Jersey promise to take on the severely disabled children that public schools can’t handle, giving them a special status in the Garden State's educational system. But these schools are also a $600 million industry funded by New Jersey taxpayers – an industry that is only loosely regulated by the state. After a two-month investigation, Star-Ledger reporter Christopher Baxter exposed what can happen when the state writes checks to private companies without closely watching what they do with the money. His reporting was a relentless indictment of the system, finding the private schools were able to spend taxpayer dollars in ways public schools could not. He uncovered nepotism among school staffs, executive pay far higher than public school superintendents, officials owning fancy cars, schools offering generous pension plans and questionable business deals between schools and companies owned by school officials. In one instance, Baxter discovered a classroom aide who was related one of the school’s directors was taking home a $94,000 salary – three times what others were paid – without even a bachelor’s degree.
  • Welfare Exposed

    Through a persistent and meticulous investigation, this series of reports exposed how Pennsylvania tax dollars are being carelessly mishandled by the state's most funded, yet most secretive, department: Public Welfare. This investigation broke new ground in detailing how the state is failing to protect taxpayer dollars. From big-time lottery winners still collecting to cultural rot within the department, this series shocked the department's own Secretary, who called our findings "appalling." Via privacy laws, the state has created a system that limits its own accountability. This series circumvented those limitations.