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 "spending" ...

  • Hattiesburg taxpayers fund liquor, jewelry, and gifts

    WDAM uncovered misspending of taxpayer dollars at the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission. In summary, the city imposes an extra two percent tax on restaurant food purchases in the city to help fund tourism in the area. That money was instead spent on luxury items such as Tiffany jewelry and family vacations by the executive director and several people working for him. https://vimeo.com/151837779 http://www.wdam.com/story/28416053/investigation-hattiesburg-taxpayers-fund-liquor-jewelry-and-gifts
  • Corruption at Houston Community College

    Higher Education Reporter Ben Wermund dug into a variety of public records from multiple agencies and from a legal battle to track how the leaders one of the nation’s largest community colleges had wasted millions of a nearly half-billion-dollar bond package. He fought hard for records that the college repeatedly attempted to hide and found ingenious ways to document misspending, secret meetings and illegal or unethical decisions that resulted in immediate response, reforms in open meeting procedures and ongoing investigations.
  • College of DuPage investigation

    The Chicago Tribune’s investigation of the College of DuPage – accomplished despite court orders and deception -- exposed egregious spending by top officials, exclusive contracts to insiders and ethical violations at the state’s largest community college, prompting criminal investigations, a new state law, and the college being put on probation by its accrediting agency. This entry includes 10 stories and a supplemental file that contains the accreditation agency letter citing our reports, Tribune follow-up stories showing results of our work, another publication’s article about our investigation and lawsuit, and a sample of the overwhelming response we have received.
  • G.I. Dough

    The U.S. government has wasted billions of dollars in Afghanistan – repeatedly ignoring history, warnings, local culture and common sense – to undertake one boondoggle project after another. Congress has barely blinked as the financial toll has mounted, and until now, no one has even added it all up. https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/afghan https://projects.propublica.org/cerp/ https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/boondoggle
  • Legislative Spending

    Both of the 2015 stories were part of an occasional series, “Watchdog Report: Legislative Spending,” that began in 2014. The series is based on an exclusive database created by The Morning Call to analyze legislators’ spending. Before that, taxpayers would have found it difficult to nearly impossible to find out how their representatives were spending their money. Legislators are not required to publicly reveal their individual expenses and the records are not uniform or easily digested http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/legislator-expense-reports/mc-pa-house-expense-map-htmlstory.html http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/legislator-expense-reports/mc-pa-senate-expense-map-htmlstory.html
  • Toxic Settlements

    For more than a decade, a deeply flawed system has allowed companies to make tens of millions off some of Virginia and Maryland’s most vulnerable residents. Bereft of scrutiny or regulation, it was easy. But the Post has now made it hard. In a series of articles, McCoy revealed the secretive world of structured settlement purchasing. Structured settlements, as opposed to traditional settlements, dispense the compensation in small installments across decades to protect the mentally-disabled and vulnerable from spending all of the money immediately.
  • Growing Influence

    The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill was a two-year process that pitted farm subsidies against food stamps. The 2008 Farm Bill expired in 2012 and was set to be updated but easy passage was thwarted as Congress focused on the $17 billion in federal crop insurance payments issued to farmers that year due to a massive drought; meanwhile, lawmakers also focused on food stamp fraud. Growing Influence highlighted the bill’s impact on taxpayers by uncovering at least 600 companies that helped influence the trillion-dollar 2014 Farm Bill and the murky spending behind it between 2012 and the first quarter of 2014.
  • What Voters Don't Know: Tales of Campaign Finance Subterfuge

    It's easier now than ever for political candidates and their parties to take in and spend huge amounts money in perfectly legal, aboveboard transactions -- and for others to do so on their behalf. Still, there's plenty going on in the world of political money that intentionally is kept in the shadows, whether in the name of monetary or political profit, to keep benefactors' roles secret or simply to fatten a candidate's campaign fund with creative accounting. All of this activity keeps crucial information from the voting public. The Center for Responsive Politics' entry of five stories that sheds light on several different political money schemes that twisted the standard template of candidates, PACs and parties raising and spending funds and reporting details of those activities to regulators.
  • DeKalb County's Climate of Corruption

    This investigation revealed a local government teeming with corruption, including kickbacks and theft of taxpayer dollars. They exposed rampant spending with no oversight, first through the use of county purchasing cards, then with an invoice payment system that also lacked controls. Their investigation caught county officials spending their discretionary budgets on airline tickets, family vacations, gift cards, cell phone bills, high-end electronics and other personal expenses. One commissioner even paid a speeding ticket and funneled tens of thousands of dollars to her boyfriend. Their reporting led to an ongoing FBI investigation, a guilty plea from a longtime county official, and pending subpoenas that could yield even more indictments. County leaders have enacted new spending policies and strengthened their board of ethics.
  • CLOSING COSTS

    In an unprecedented move -- billed to cut costs -- Chicago Public Schools shut down 49 of their school buildings in the summer of 2013, leaving them vacant and abandoned. Late in the fall of 2013, NBC5 Investigates filed a FOIA request to see how much was still being spent on these empty buildings in utility costs. For months, CPS delayed and then ignored our FOIA request, and it ultimately took a lawsuit by NBC5 to finally get CPS to turn over the documents, They showed that taxpayers were spending nearly as much on utilities for these vacant buildings as they were when the schools were open. NBC5 Investigates also obtained secret CPS reports showing extensive vandalism at some abandoned schools, resulting in additional costs for taxpayers to repair the damage.