Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "Detroit Free Press" ...

  • In Donors We Trust

    This entry features the Detroit Free Press' innovative and exhaustive look into irregularities in the management of the University of Michigan’s $11 billion endowment. The years-long investigation detailed how executives at some of the nation's top investment firms donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the University of Michigan while the university in turn invested as much as $4 billion in those companies' funds. More than $400 million of that amount was sent into funds managed by three alumni who advise the university on the investments of its endowment. Critics who reviewed the newspaper’s computational and statistical analysis said Michigan’s approach of investing with some of its top donors, who also help guide the university's endowment, creates a conflict. After the publication of more than a dozen stories throughout 2018, the university reformed its conflict-of-interest rules; its president apologized for a lack in oversight; a member of its board of regents returned more than $20,000 in campaign contributions from an investment fund leader; and voters ousted both board incumbents running for re-election.
  • In Donors We Trust

    This entry features the Detroit Free Press' innovative and exhaustive look into irregularities in the management of the University of Michigan’s $11 billion endowment. The years-long investigation detailed how executives at some of the nation's top investment firms donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the University of Michigan while the university in turn invested as much as $4 billion in those companies' funds. More than $400 million of that amount was sent into funds managed by three alumni who advise the university on the investments of its endowment. Critics who reviewed the newspaper’s computational and statistical analysis said Michigan’s approach of investing with some of its top donors, who also help guide the university's endowment, creates a conflict. After the publication of more than a dozen stories throughout 2018, the university reformed its conflict-of-interest rules; its president apologized for a lack in oversight; a member of its board of regents returned more than $20,000 in campaign contributions from an investment fund leader; and voters ousted both board incumbents running for re-election.
  • DFP: Trooper tases teen on ATV. Police video reveals what happens next

    Readers had known about the tragic death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, who crashed his ATV while running from State Police in Detroit. People knew a trooper had been charged with murder after leaning out of his patrol car to use his Taser on Grimes, causing the crash. But the details were limited. That’s until the Free Press used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents, raw video and radio broadcasts to reconstruct the scene before, during and after the accident. In a published story and never-before-seen video, the newspaper shined a spotlight on the actions of police that day. The video was made by piecing together hours of video and audio footage from police body cameras, dashboard cameras, surveillance tape and broadcasts. A Detroit officer whose inappropriate comments were caught on the video was reassigned.
  • In Donors We Trust

    Everyone knows that college is more and more expensive to attend. So why are college and university endowments skyrocketing and now worth more than $567 billion? We started with the University of Michigan, lauded as one of the world’s best public universities which had stockpiled an endowment worth more than $11 billion. We found that university officials invested a good chunk of that endowment – one of the country’s largest among public institutions - in hundreds of private funds across the world. More importantly, our months-long investigation identified a select group who had secretly benefited: top university donors and alumni investment advisers who run private equity, hedge and venture capital funds and real estate investment firms. After our stories published throughout 2018, the university changed its investment policies; rerouted nearly $2 million into more student aid; made new investments based in the state; publicly released university executive compensation information after losing a FOIA lawsuit brought by the Free Press; and saw two university regents (i.e., trustees) lose their elections in November to those who promised more financial transparency and accountability based on our reporting.
  • Detroit Free Press: They look like cops, but they're not

    A Detroit Free Press investigation found that police agencies across Michigan are supplementing their ranks with unlicensed civilians, commonly called reserve officers, who wear uniforms and badges and carry guns. But these volunteers are unregulated and not subject to state-established training standards, despite frequently assisting real cops on patrol and, sometimes, with arrests. No one had ever tallied the number of reserve officers in Michigan, so the Free Press did and uncovered a staggering number, and many who had committed crimes and other misdeeds.
  • Detroit Free Press squatters

    The Detroit Free Press found a politically connected charity that was supposed to help hundreds of squatters was evicting them and flipping their houses to developers for thousands in profit, and that Detroit has the worst squatter problem in the nation.
  • State of Charter Schools

    With FOIA requests, scores of interviews and school visits, reviews of thousands of documents and a deep analysis of academic data, the Detroit Free press revealed a $1-billion-a-year charter school system with weak state oversight. The result? Little transparency on how taxpayer money is spent, conflicts of interest often unchecked, some school operators lining their pockets, failing schools staying open year after year – and many children not getting the quality education that charter advocates envisioned 20 years ago. Our reporting showed Michigan has twice as many for-profit companies running schools than any other state, with weak accountability requirements that companies find attractive.
  • Detroit Free Press: Free to Kill

    “Free to Kill,” a seven-month Detroit Free Press investigation, found the Michigan Department of Corrections failed to properly supervise some of the most violent of the state’s roughly 70,000 offenders under its watch. A total of 88 parolees and probationers were suspected, arrested or convicted in 95 murders between Jan. 1, 2010, and Aug. 31, 2011. The number nearly doubled from 2010 to 2011 -- from 21 to 38. The series also revealed that dozens of offenders weren't outfitted with court-ordered electronic tethers, and others weren't sent back to prison for new crimes or failed drug tests.
  • Mayor Lives Large While Detroit Struggles

    While the city of Detroit struggled through a massive job loss in 2005, its mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, lived a life of luxury on the public's tax dollars. According to The Detroit Free Press, investigating this story became difficult as the mayor refused to turnover public documents and flat out lied to his constituents. However, a lawsuit from the paper finally forced the mayor to hand over documents in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.
  • School District Scandal, Oakland County, Michigan

    The Detroit Free Press reviewed more than 12,000 pages of records from an affluent school district and found that the district was wasting millions of dollars that were intended for special education students and instead spent the money on private-industry deals. James Redmond, the former superintendent, and other district officials created companies that provided worthless services and unused equipment, they fooled taxpayers into paying more money and then spent the money on a building that was meant to headquarter their private enterprise deals. After Redmond's reign as superintendent, the once-prosperous district is $20.4 million in debt.