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" ...

  • Policing Their Own

    The stories examined the ways in which Texas police officers who are fired, or who resign while facing termination, are able to move on to new jobs within the state, sometimes within the same county. The reporters found numerous instances in which officers with bad records got new jobs, including an officer who resigned while under investigation for molesting boys in a police Explorer Scout program, and an officer fired for using unnecessary force during a minor traffic stop.
  • 12 Plants Release Bulk of Accidental Pollution

    "The article named the 12 industrial plants in the Houston area that were responsible for the most pollution from upsets - accidental releases that are above what is allowed by the state each year." Upsets are controversial because they often go unpunished and unchecked. The upsets of these twelve plants accounted for 80 percent of the pollution around Houston in 2003. However, only a handful had violations or received fines. Statewide, only 2.6 percent were enforced.
  • "Operation Enduring Liberty"; "The Cops Are Watching You"; "The Big Chill"; "Vigilante Justice"; "Homeland Security X 50"; "Foreign? Suspicious!"; "D.C.'s Virtual Panopticon"

    Series of articles in an issue of The Nation following various aspects of the "war on terror." Dreyfuss details the makeup of Maryland's Joint Terrorism Task Force and local police ties with the FBI field office. Cooper talks to Arabs in California who are seeing their organizations' numbers decline. Bach discusses citizens' groups that are encouraged to act as watchdogs on their neighbors, giving the example of a high school student with an expired visa who was turned in to authorities by his guidance counselor. Pell examines state laws and proposed laws creating new definitions of and punishments for "terrorism." Evans raises the issue of drivers' licenses and documentation of aliens. Parenti follows the installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) in Washington, D.C., and other cities. Several articles touch on the classification of protest groups in America as "terrorists."
  • Little-known agency holds schools' fate, Agency's grading methods criticized, Phone logs link 'politics' to takeover, City school watchdog faces audit

    An analysis of phone calls made by the County Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) showed that the obscure agency, which is in charge of the fiscal well-being of many California schools, had come to power through considerable politicking. Furthermore, the agency had never been through an audit, in fact, it was exempt from being audited at all.
  • Fraud Outruns the Feds: Investors lose almost $1 billion in five years

    According to the authors, "Federal watchdogs have been largely ineffective in combating securities fraud and helping victims recover their money. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's investigation of all 121 cases filed in the Southeastern U.S. by the Securities and Exchange Commission's Miami office during the past five years also found that 25 percent of violators had been the subject of at least one previous regulatory or criminal action involving fraud or economic crime; only 20 percent of the agency's cases against violators resulted in criminal prosecutions; and SEC violations resulted in $176 million in fines and penalties being levied, although only about $6.5 million has been collected. Investors losses in these securities fraud cases totalled at least $938 million."
  • Asleep on the Watch?

    After a slew of scandals involving charities, the Chronicle of Philanthropy did an investigation into the effectiveness of government watchdog agencies. The story looks at a multitude of reasons these agencies may be unable to adequately police the nonprofits.
  • NCAA's once-rabid watchdog loses its bite

    The NCAA rarely issues stern sentences anymore to Division I-A football programs. NCAA officials, former investigators, infractions committee members and others who spoke to ESPN.com cite a multitude of factors behind the trend: Money, Greater awareness of the impact of certain penalties.
  • Consumers: State Refund claims bogus; Attorney general consumer watchdog inflated claims by $2.5 million

    An investigation by the Cleveland Plain Dealer reveals that Ohio's attorney general inflated her restitution figures "by at least $2.5 million." The newspaper's investigation "showed how not just that her office puffed its numbers but how: It took credit for refunds secured by other agencies, included refund offers from companies that consumers never accepted, inflated the dollar value of refunds and counted refunds that companies promised but never delivered."
  • Decades of Sex Abuse Plague Deaf School. For generations, state's students kept secrets.

    An eight-month investigation by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has found that sexual abuse at the Washington School for the Deaf has been shattering the lives of deaf children for at least half a century. The Post-Intelligencer looked into reports of persistent sexual abuse at a state-run school for the deaf. The problem is plaguing deaf schools across the country. There were 160 sex-related incidents at the school in a three-year period. The investigation spawned external reviews of the school from the governor's office; reforms were suggested and a six-member watchdog panel was appointed to make sure they were put into place.
  • The Ethics Omission

    A Riverfront Times investigation chronicles how the Missouri Ethics Commission built "a history of mismanagement and ineptitude dating back to its formation in the early 1990s." The story reveals how a PAC - called Rely on Your Beliefs - contributed significant amounts of money to local Republican candidates Roy Blunt and Matt Blunt, but did not file reports with the ethics commission for more than a year. The ethics watchdog tolerated the late filing, and accepted the PAC's fake excuses, the Times reports. The article examines the background of Mike Reid, the "commission's top ethics cop, a former lawyer twice disbarred for a litany of ethical violations." Reid lied to one of his clients that her divorce procedure was completed, while in fact it was not, and failed to defend another client's interests in a traffic accident lawsuit. The ethics cop blamed his previous missteps to psychological problems at this time.