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 "conflict of interest" ...

  • Paradise Papers: Secrets of the Global Elite

    The “Paradise Papers” exposed secret tax machinations of some of the world’s most powerful people and corporations. The leaked source data came from 21 different sources in almost as many formats, posing a data-management and structuring nightmare. Coping with all that demanded innovation from ICIJ’s multidisciplinary data team, which had to store, secure and structure 13.4 million files that came from two separate offshore service providers and 19 different tax havens, then find a way to share it with journalists on six continents and help them make sense of it all.
  • 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.
  • Trump, Inc.

    Trump, Inc. is an open investigation by WNYC and ProPublica that has brought together listeners, readers, and many journalists to answer basic, vital questions about Trump the president, Trump the businessman, and the blurry lines between the two.
  • Paid to Prosecute

    A joint Texas Tribune/Austin American-Statesman investigation revealed that the state's largest and oldest provider of workers’ compensation coverage — Texas Mutual Insurance — had paid millions of dollars to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to get public prosecutors to pursue alleged crimes against the company. It was an enormous conflict of interest that had flown under the radar for more than a decade, a private justice system that gave special treatment to one insurer — and subjected many unsuspecting blue-collar workers to lawsuits.
  • Ohio Board of Education

    In a unique collaborative effort, the Akron Beacon Journal and The NewsOutlet student journalism lab researched and published an investigative series on the Ohio State Board of Education, a body responsible for oversight of the education of 1.8 million school-age children and spending of $9 billion in public money. One board member has resigned due to a conflict of interest exposed by the project, and newspapers are calling for the resignation of another. We discovered a third member is a recipient of public education dollars and may be using them illegally. That story is in progress. We continue to receive letters to the editor and are told that complaints may have been filed with the state inspector general or ethics commission, neither of which will comment. The project also exposed a massive gap between board ideology on school choice and public/research opinion, leading to a larger examination of school choice in Ohio in 2014.
  • Justice Obscured

    In its nine-month investigation, "Justice Obscured," the Center for Public Integrity evaluated the disclosure rules for judges in the highest state courts nationwide. The level of disclosure in the 50 states and the District of Columbia was poor, with 43 receiving failing grades, making it difficult for the public to identify potential conflicts of interest on the bench.
  • There Will Be Diatomaceous!

    In this series of coverage, Mission and State looks at Santa Barbara’s love-hate relationship with oil. As the country dives deeper and deeper into the enhanced-extraction oil boom, Santa Barbara grapples with what to do with the vast oil reserves waiting to be tapped in the North County and offshore. These stories delve into the fractured local oil politics, the strange bedfellows oil development can make of environmentalists, oil companies and politicians, the environmental and developmental legacies informing current debates, the missed opportunities for environmental concessions and the campaign contributions putting politicians in compromising positions. These stories paint the picture of a county in an almost schizophrenic political and cultural dance with itself. During the course of researching and reporting this series, it was revealed that Air Pollution Control District advisory board member and Lompoc City Councilmember Ashley Costa also worked in public relations for Santa Maria Energy, an obvious conflict of interest. Reporter Karen Pelland discovered that the president of a company proposing to slant drill from Vandenberg Air Force Base to get to the vast Tranquillon Ridge offshore reserve made significant political contributions to now-Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek). Garamendi had previously scuttled a deal between environmentalists and PXP oil company for the same reserve that was hailed as a landmark proposal at the time.
  • Going Postal – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's husband sells post offices to his friends, cheap

    CBRE Group. Inc. is a commercial real estate corporation which is chaired by Richard C. Blum, who is the husband of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. In 2011, the United States Postal Service (USPS) awarded CBRE an exclusive contract to sell off postal real estate in cities and towns across America. Based upon examining hundreds of public records, Going Postal reported that CBRE has sold more than $200 million worth of post office real estate at under fair market values, often to the firm's clients and business partners. CBRE's contract with the USPS requires the company to obtain fair market prices for properties that it brokers on behalf of the public and to avoid such conflicts of interest.
  • Spotlight on the Texas Legislature

    During the 2013 legislative session, The Texas Tribune rolled out two entirely innovative ways to watchdog the state’s elected officials – the first-ever gavel-to-gavel livestream of Texas House and Senate proceedings, and the Ethics Explorer, an interactive investigative app documenting the conflicts of interest and financial relationships of every member of the Legislature. Combined, these two tools gave the Texas public unfettered access to the political maneuvering and shenanigans under the Pink Dome, including an unprecedented abortion filibuster that thrust our scrappy news organization into the national spotlight. No other Texas news organization came close to providing this service; they and many national news sites all relied on the Tribune.
  • Corruption at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

    From the Summer Olympics to papal visits to Super Bowls, the iconic peristyle of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum long symbolized many of the city’s proudest hours. Now, because of the work of three Los Angeles Times reporters, the stately columns have become an emblem of one of the worst corruption scandals in recent Southern California history. The stories produced by Rong-Gong Lin II, Paul Pringle and Andrew Blankstein have led directly to the felony indictments of three public officials, the nation’s No. 1 promoter of rave concerts, another prominent music executive and a government contractor. A second misdemeanor case has been filed against two other Coliseum employees. The charges spelled out in the indictments mirror the reporters' findings – tales of bribery, embezzlement, kickbacks and conflict of interest. They allege that the taxpayers who own the Coliseum were bilked out of some $2 million and perhaps much more.