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 "unions" ...

  • Tarnished Brass

    In the name of protecting men and women in uniform, states across the country have made it nearly impossible to identify dangerous law enforcement officers with a track record of violence and other misdeeds. Records detailing their misconduct often are filed away, rarely seen by anyone outside of the department. Police unions and their political allies have worked to put special protections in place ensuring some records are shielded from public view, or even destroyed. A national tracking system for backgrounding officers is incomplete and not available to the public. More than two years ago, USA TODAY and its network of newsrooms across the nation set out to change that. More than two dozen reporters began collecting public records from the communities they covered and beyond. Also contributing substantially to the record-gathering was the Invisible Institute, a nonprofit journalism organization in Chicago that focuses on issues around policing tactics and criminal justice. We pieced together lists of decertified officers in more than 40 states. We collected logs and paper records related to 110,000 internal affairs investigations. We gathered information on 14,000 lawsuits against departments and fought to obtain so-called Brady lists, documenting officers flagged for lying and other misdeeds. Then we scoured story archives from our newsrooms and others to piece together the most comprehensive list of police misconduct cases ever built.
  • Trashed

    Fatal accidents; brutal work conditions; suspicious unions; lax oversight; mob ties and racketeers. Every night in New York, trucks from scores of private trash collection companies hit the city’s streets — often creating havoc and too rarely being reined in by regulators.
  • Vendetta: Bobby Kennedy versus Jimmy Hoffa

    Drawing on a treasure trove of previously secret documents and new interviews, the author provides a full, true account of Robert K. Kennedy’s quest to destroy Jimmy Hoffa and loosen organized crime’s grip on unions in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Charity Cheats?

    A Texas agency that disguises itself as a charity for troopers is actually a union collecting money to lobby politicians in Austin.
  • Tennessee's Secret Deals

    This exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation exposed some of Tennessee’s most closely guarded secrets – secrets about how more than $1 billion in incentives had been offered to just two major corporations and how that money had been used by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration as leverage to accomplish a political goal of defeating one of the nation’s biggest unions. It’s an investigation that made national news, including stories in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. The investigation also highlighted how much the public is kept in the dark as a result of exemptions to the Tennessee Public Records Act.
  • South Bay DA: Exposing the "Gift of Time

    We exposed how the Santa Clara County District Attorney, Jeff Rosen, circumvented the county’s time-off policy, giving thousands of hours of extra vacation to his appointees-“lead attorneys,” some of the highest paid employees in the county- as a secret perk. We uncovered that this "gift of time" was to make up for a bonus these lead attorneys lost during budget negotiations. Our investigation revealed DA Rosen directed staff to alter their time sheets: vacation and sick time were changed to "administrative leave," thus allowing select attorneys to bank their time and cash out later. Our report raised questions from unions across the county whose contracts with the county all contained a clause stating: if one union did not take their contractual cuts, no one had to do so. Consequently, the DA’s move to undercut the contract put millions of dollars at risk. Several unions filed complaints with the county in response to our story asking for comparable payment. Our reporting prompted the Attorney General to open a civil investigation into the DA’s office. The county executive ordered the time off be paid back by attorneys, and imposed an annual cap on the number of administrative leave hours that can be given to attorneys to prevent this from happening again.
  • The Walker Calendar Files

    Wisconsin's politics exploded on Feb. 11, 2011, when Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his plan to strip most collective bargaining rights from public employee unions. tens of thousands of protesters descended on the state Capitol, and Walker became a national conservative star. But as Walker's calendars revealed, he was known to the conservative establishment beforehand: Two weeks before Walker dropped what he referred to as his "bomb," he had dined at the Washington, D.C., area home of Republican power broker Fred Malek. The political turmoil sparked questions about how and with whom Walker had spent his time in office, questions that took on increased urgency as he faced a historic recall election in June 2012. The Center digitized and coded all 4,414 entries of those calendars to examine those questions. At the heart of the project was a series of four major data visualizations offering the public deep dives into the calendar data and analyses. The innovative, CAR-based approach to these calendars allowed reporters to break new ground about a man who had become one of the most thoroughly covered governors ever.
  • Guessing Pensions: San Jose's Fuzzy Math

    This year-long investigation exposes the Mayor of San Jose’s repeated use of an exaggerated pension projection to sell a fiscal emergency to voters and negotiate reform with unions. NBC Bay Area uncovered, for nearly a year Mayor Chuck Reed used $650 million as the future projection for city retirement costs. NBC Bay Area reviewed thousands of internal city emails and public documents and uncovered there was no calculation to back up the number. The figure was used to induce deep concessions from union members. NBC Bay Area followed the paper trail and found numerous instances where the number was used in negotiations and instances where the Mayor quoted that projection in national and local newspapers, magazines, speeches and press releases, touting the exaggerated figure as representative of the city’s dire need for pension reform, to avoid fiscal meltdown. As a result of our investigation, The city’s retirement services director abruptly retired. Mayor Reed stopped using the false projection, and a State audit confirmed what NBC Bay Area uncovered. This is part one of more than a dozen reports, focusing on multiple ethics complaints against Mayor Reed and other city officials, a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, as well as the developments in the State audit.
  • Follow the Unlimited Money

    The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group tracked the outside spending by groups unleashed by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and made it easier for others to Follow the Unlimited Money as well. The centerpiece of the effort was an online database that tracked, in real time, the latest data released by the Federal Election Commission on super PACs, nonprofits, labor unions and other groups that spent money to influence elections. Our in house team of reporters used data from the database to break stories and write in-depth pieces; we also made the database publicly available on the Web and helped hundreds of journalists use it, running the gamut from major television networks such as CBS and MSNBC to newer media entrants such as Gawker and BuzzFeed and numerous local outlets. The database and the reporting derived from it provided information on outside spending groups--including super PACs and the donors that funded them and the nonprofits that don’t disclose donors--and the races they tried to influence.
  • United in Largesse

    United in Largesse is about extravagant spending and lack of accountability in the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers union, which has its headquarters in Kansas City, Kan. The Kansas City Star found that the union president’s salary and expenses far topped those of the presidents of the country’s largest unions and that the union had hired numerous officers’ relatives at robust salaries. The story also showed that union officials traveled by charter or first class to attractive destinations, squandered money on exclusive pheasant-hunting expeditions and Alaskan fly-fishing adventures and gave expensive cars as gifts to retiring officers. The Star also raised serious questions about conflicts of interest involving union pension fund trustees.