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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "agencies" ...

  • Hundreds of Police Killings Are Uncounted in Federal Statistics

    A Journal analysis of the latest data from 105 of the country’s largest police agencies found more than 550 police killings between 2007 and 2012 were missing from records kept by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or in a few dozen cases, not attributed to the agency involved in the killing. The Journal’s tally showed at least 1,800 police killings in those departments, about 45% more than the FBI’s tally for justifiable homicides in those jurisdictions. The Journal’s reporting shows that the full national scope of the underreporting of justifiable homicides wasn’t being quantified, as more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies are asked to provide such stats to the FBI.
  • Double Agent: Inside al Qaeda for the CIA

    The world’s most dangerous terrorists, espionage, betrayal, and assassination are all part of the intrigue of "Double Agent: Inside al Qaeda for the CIA," a remarkable documentary about Morten Storm, a radical-Islamist-turned-double-agent who says he was in a race against time to thwart attacks by al Qaeda. It is a spy thriller told through never-before-seen videos recorded by Storm on the job as a spy. His photos and al Qaeda encrypted emails, and never-before-heard audio from his years undercover reveal a rare glimpse of CIA missteps and the destructive rivalries between competing global intelligence agencies.
  • Profiting Off the Poor

    This series of columns examines the damage caused by repeated abuses of Texas adverse possession laws by companies headed by Douglas T. "Chase" Fonteno. The series outlines the complex nature of Fonteno's interlocking businesses and the web of deceit that helped hide his real estate transactions from county, state and federal agencies. He claimed deeds to other people's houses, without the real owners' knowledge or consent, and sold those houses to unsuspecting people who, in almost all cases, were poor, uneducated and often spoke little English. The series uncovered millions of dollars in unpaid taxes and liens, along with other nefarious activities that appear to have included document forgery and misuse of a Texas notary stamp. Fonteno's antics helped delay urban development in one of Dallas's most downtrodden urban neighborhoods.
  • Policing for Profit

    This one-hour, primetime documentary was the culmination of a four-year investigation that revealed a secret that many Tennessee law enforcement agencies never told the public: that they had become more concerned with profiting from the illegal drug trade than stopping it and that they were routinely violating the civil rights of innocent Americans. That investigation exposed unethical police practices that allowed law enforcement officers to take cash from individuals without charging them with a crime. It helped fuel a national conversation about civil forfeiture laws that make those practices legal and led to reforms in Tennessee and across the country.
  • Louisiana Purchased

    “Louisiana Purchased” -- the most comprehensive investigation into the big business of the state’s campaign financing in the history of Louisiana -- exposed illegal activities, questionable practices and toothless ethics enforcement, and as a direct result of the series, politicians admitted they broke the law and many made restitution, legislators changed state laws, a local district attorney stepped down after three decades in office, and both state and federal agencies launched separate investigations.
  • Canada's Unwanted

    A Global News investigation into the way Canada treats its non-citizens - refugee applicants, immigration detainees and just about anyone the government is trying to get rid of or whose status in the country remains up in the air - found systems rife with arbitrary opacity and questionable practices. They revealed never-before-published deaths in detention and pressured the Border Services Agency into releasing more information on the people who die in its custody. They also outlined the way Canada detains people indefinitely in jails on no charge – often with limited access to family, legal counsel and third-party monitoring agencies, denying repeated requests by the Red Cross to perform inspections of immigrant detention facilities in Canada's most populous province. In two years, Canada paid thousands of applicants to abandon their appeals and leave the country.
  • Building debt: $2 billion in bonds approved in districts formed by developers

    The story is about a series of obscure government agencies that are quietly building up more than $2 billion in debt in Denton County, Texas. The county ranks fifth among Texas counties with 62 and first in North Texas of the little-known special water districts, a type of government entity used by developers to finance infrastructure for residential and commercial developments. The story reveals how the districts debt and numbers proliferated after the state decided to halt related investigation and they deemed the investigations a waste of government resources.
  • Just sign here: Federal workers max out at taxpayers' expense

    FMCS is a tiny independent federal agency whose director's first order of business was to use federal funds to buy artwork from his own wife, $200 coasters and champagne. The agency paid $85,000 to the phantom company of a just-retired official for no services; spent $50,000 at a jewelry store, supposedly on picture frames to give its 200 employees "tenure awards;" and leased its people $53,000 cars. Large portions of its employees routinely used government credit cards for clearly personal items after merely requesting to have them “unblocked” from restricted items, according to 50,000 pages of internal documents obtained by the Washington Examiner--raising questions about purchase card use in other agencies. Federal employees were charging cell phones for their whole families and cable TV at not just their homes, but their vacation homes too, to the government. Its IT director has had hundreds of thousands of dollars of high-end electronics delivered to his home in West Virginia, and there is no record of many of those items being tracked to federal offices. Many other items billed are highly suspect, such as $500 for single USB thumb drives that retail for $20. Virtually all of its spending circumvented federal procurement laws. When employees pointed out rulebreaking, Director George Cohen forced one accountant to write a letter to the GSA retracting her complaint, had another top employee walked out by armed guards, and fired another whistleblower, a disabled veteran, for missing a day of work while she laid in the ICU. At an agency the size of FMCS, where corruption went to the top, there were no higher levels to appeal to, no Inspector General, and--previously--no press attention.
  • 40 Million Mistakes

    60 MINUTES SET-OUT TO INVESTIGATE THE CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTING INDUSTRY, A FOUR-BILLION-DOLLAR-A-YEAR INDUSTRY WHICH KEEPS FILES ON 200 MILLION AMERICANS AND TRAFFICS IN OUR FINANCIAL REPUTATIONS. THE CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES COLLECT DATA ABOUT CONSUMERS FROM CREDIT CARD COMPANIES, BANKS, CAR DEALERSHIPS, COLLECTION AGENCIES, AND COURT RECORDS; THEY COLLATE THE DATA AND CREATE CREDIT REPORTS WHICH THEY SELL TO BUSINESSES THAT USE THE REPORTS TO JUDGE OUR CREDITWORTHINESS AND RELIABILITY. AN ERROR ON A CREDIT REPORT CAN COST CONSUMERS A LOT OF MONEY AND A LOT OF HARDSHIP; AN ERROR CAN INCREASE THE INTEREST RATE ON LOANS, PREVENT SOMEONE FROM GETTING A MORTGAGE OR BUYING A CAR, LANDING A JOB OR GAINING SECURITY CLEARANCE.
  • New egg safety plan shows cracks in the system

    It’s been almost three years since more than 500 million eggs were recalled in 2010 because of an outbreak of Salmonella that caused nearly 2,000 illnesses - the largest outbreak of its kind on record. Yet under a new egg safety plan approved shortly before the recall, all egg production facilities are still not inspected as required by the plan.