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 "violations" ...

  • Walking While Black

    “Walking While Black,” a meticulously researched and powerful reporting project, showed Jacksonville's enforcement of pedestrian violations to be racially disproportionate. Using hard-won data from a variety of local and state agencies, Topher Sanders and Ben Conarck, both veterans of reporting in Jacksonville, showed the disparities across every category of pedestrian tickets in Duval County. They then found those ticketed, and chronicled the impact — on their driver’s licenses, on their credit ratings, on their day to day ability to work and raise families in a city notorious for its lack of adequate pedestrian infrastructure.
  • To fulfill Trump’s vision on immigration, sheriffs are trampling over constitutional principles

    “To fulfill Trump’s vision on immigration, sheriffs are trampling over constitutional principles,” by Yvette Cabrera and published in ThinkProgress, examines the practice by sheriff’s departments across the country who are holding people in jail past their release date at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] using a technique that legal experts say raises serious questions about potential constitutional rights violations.
  • Driven Into Debt

    This ongoing series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • The Texas Observer and Grist with The Investigative Fund: Too Big to Fine, Too Small to Fight Back

    Citgo refineries spew thousands of tons of chemicals into the air, degrading air quality and putting human health at risk. Despite Citgo's revenues hitting north of $40 billion, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality lets the company off easy. For her investigation in The Texas Observer, in partnership with Grist and The Investigative Fund, Naveena Sadasivam dug into how the TCEQ has fined corporate polluters $30 million for air violations, not much more than the $24 million imposed on gas stations, a significant percentage of which are owned by immigrants, just for record-keeping errors. The disparity between TCEQ's treatment of mom-and-pop operations versus large corporations favors those with money and power. The agency rarely punishes big polluters, often because of a legal loophole, and when it does levy a fine, lawyers negotiate big reductions in penalties. As a result, environmental advocates and small business owners say there's a fundamental unfairness at work with the way TCEQ treats the businesses it regulates.
  • The Center for Public Integrity: How a Sanctioned Russian Bank Wooed Washington

    Foreign campaigns to influence American officials are supposed to be transparent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law requiring detailed disclosure of foreign influence efforts. But few believe FARA — passed in 1938 to combat Nazi propaganda — has been working well. It is riddled with exemptions. Enforcement is weak. Criminal penalties apply only to willful violations. Lobbying by VTB, a Kremlin-owned Russian bank under sanctions, is a case study in the flaws of FARA. The bank’s hired lobbyists failed to disclose a series of meetings with government officials on behalf of the sanctioned bank until months after U.S. law required them to, and one firm did so only after being contacted by the Center for Public Integrity. The bank sponsored an exclusive gala and invited American officials who oversee sanctions through intermediaries, avoiding disclosure requirements.
  • Politico: Wage Theft

    Raising hourly pay is a rallying cry for politicians and activists, but they’ve put little attention on a key problem for low-wage workers: states often fail to get workers the money they’re owed. Combining data analysis and interviews, a nine-month Politico investigation found workers are so lightly protected that six states have no investigators to handle minimum-wage violations, while 26 additional states have fewer than 10 investigators. Given the widespread nature of wage theft and the dearth of resources to combat it, an estimated $15 billion in desperately needed income for workers with the lowest wages goes instead into the pockets of shady bosses.
  • Investigation to Resignation to Plea Deal

    The press secretary for Houston's mayor hid thousands of emails from the media after a records request. Those emails would show she was spending significant amounts of time pitching reality shows to Hollywood producers while on the clock for the city of Houston. That decision was exposed and led to her eventual arrest: a major message to public officials that violations of the open records act can lead to criminal charges.
  • Broken Homes, Broken System?

    It's a no-win situation. Families can stay in an unsafe home or call Code Enforcement for help and risk eviction and fines. We compared inspection reports from Code Enforcement with eviction records from Magistrate Court. We found a system breakdown that allows bad landlords to keep tenants in unsafe homes. The deeper we dug into city records, the more we uncovered. Our investigation lead to a change in city code. The city adopted stricter fines. Code Enforcement developed a follow-up system for complaints. Magistrate began looking at prior code violations before ruling on an eviction.
  • Austin American-Statesman: Unwatched

    Stories about children hurt or killed while in childcare pop up often enough that the Austin American-Statesman’s investigative team started to wonder: How safe are Texas child cares? The Statesman's investigative team dug into thousands of pages of state records, made more than 100 public information requests, and spoke with dozens of families, experts and state officials. We analyzed 40,000 day care violations and built a database showing that child care providers are often not paying attention when children get hurt and that hundreds of operations have been cited for failing to tell both parents and the state when children are hurt. We sought to give readers a comprehensive look at safety issues in the Texas day care system — a system that serves more than 1 million children every day.
  • California Prosecution Fees

    The Desert Sun uncovered how residents of three cities in the Coachella Valley were being billed massive fees that paid for private attorneys the city had contracted to go after the residents' for minor city code violations. Petty offenses, like having a messy yard or hanging a Halloween decoration on a street light, led to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars being demanded of the residents. If they couldn't pay, liens were assessed. Following the reporting, the cities stopped the practice, state lawmakers made it illegal in California and a class-action lawsuit led to at least one city refunding the residents.