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 "watchdog" ...

  • Trip to Nowhere

    On the eve of a vote to raise taxes nearly 10 percent and cut spending, the stories laid out in detail how auto allowances routinely granted to dozens of county officials were not justified by their documented needs. Commissioners, department heads, and 15 of their secretaries and staff were receiving what amounted to bonuses that often exceeded more than 10 times what they could document in obscure but required forms. In a followup story, the county administrator reversed course and said he would study discontinuing auto allowances that exceeded the documented needs for two recently hired county watchdogs who were supposed to guard against waste and abuse. Finally, in a third story, the county acknowledged it had failed to meet states and local requirements to document "typical" mileage before all employees began receiving allowances, and said it would change its policy.
  • ArmorGroup Conflict of Interest

    The Inspector General and his brother have a relationship where one helps the other and vice versa. The Inspector General was supposed to police the security contract at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, but was protecting is brother an executive at ArmorGroup. ArmorGroup is the company accused of wrongdoing and has continuously gotten away with it.
  • Follow the Money: Congress & TARP Oversight

    This series of watchdog stories look at spending in Congress and use of TARP funds. They used FOIA requests to gain access to TARP contracts and called into questions some questionable charitable work, sweetheart deals, financial disclosures, fund-raising, earmarks and more.
  • OC Watchdog Blog

    "The series looks at the so-called tough-on-crime mindset that has overtaken California’s criminal justice system." Everyone continues to want the bad guys punished and to keep them off the streets, but this too has consequences. California is struggling with finances, much like everyone else, and finding it difficult to fund public safety initiatives. They should be spending the money on education and social services, which influence the community and create obedient citizens.
  • Banking on the Badge

    The Orange County Register exposes large pensions and incompetence of local public officials across agencies at a time when California is struggling to stay fiscally afloat.
  • Mortgage Meltdown: The Watchdogs Who Warned Us

    "State, city, and local officials had warned of the coming subprime lending crisis since the late 1990s, but were thwarted by aggressive banking industry lobbying, sometimes with the support of federal bank regulators."
  • Watching the Watchdogs

    The story documented how six tax investigators for the city of Pittsburgh were failing to do their job. Instead of looking for deadbeat businesses, they were shopping, taking four-hour lunch breaks or simply going home. Moreover, some of them got reimbursed for mileage on the days they were not working. Their jobs are especially critical in difficult financial times, when Pittsburgh is under state oversight because of its poor finances. The story had added weight because this was not an isolated case of one or two employees; the entire department has only eight tax investigators and this investigation found six of them goofing off.
  • Subtraction by Addition: A watchdog report on MPS' failed construction program

    The series focused on a failed $102 million neighborhood school building program to add classrooms, gyms, libraries, labs and entire schools for Milwaukee schoolchildren. The investigation found that tens of millions of dollars of classrooms added since 2001 sit empty or severely underused.
  • The Watchdogs

    The Chicago Sun-Times runs a weekly investigative column dubbed "The Watchdogs," a chance for smaller investigative pieces to be published. 2007's entries include stories out of Chicago City Hall and the suburbs; county and state government; and the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.
  • Biodefense Security Failures in Texas

    "Following a watchdog's report that a Texas A&M researcher had been infected with the bioterror agent Brucella in a lab, The Dallas Morning News used state and federal open records laws to pursue dozens of additional security breaches and disease exposures at other state universities."