Stories

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

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Search results for "spending" ...

  • 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.
  • Dental Drama

    For nearly five years, the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership (TMHP), a subsidiary of Xerox, allowed workers with limited expertise to approve dental claims for Texas’ Medicaid program, the joint state-federal insurer of poor children. State spending on orthodontic services spiraled out of control: Between 2003 and 2010, Texas Medicaid payments for orthodontic services grew by more than 3,000 percent — from $6.5 million to $220.5 million — while program enrollment only grew 33 percent. Our investigation found that three years later, the state’s aggressive campaign to recover misspent Medicaid dollars had failed to prove any dental providers intentionally committed fraud. Meanwhile, the state maintained its contract with TMHP, and continued to pay the company between $168 and $185 million annually to continue processing certain Texas Medicaid claims.
  • Broken Bond

    Shawn Hoder (Senior Investigative Producer) and Catherine Beck (Investigative Reporter) of WXIA 11Alive team up to investigate Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond, who had aspirations of running for Mayor in the next election. That road may prove far more difficult after our nearly year-long investigation questioned his unethical spending habits and waste of tax dollars, revelations that caused Atlanta’s ethics department to investigate and later file a formal complaint against him.
  • Holding Officials Accountable

    “Holding Officials Accountable” focuses on four separate WVUE investigations. Our investigative team’s extensive research drove each of these series and uncovered questionable - and in two instances illegal - spending of hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars. The investigations held officials accountable by asking tough questions and pushing for answers that launched federal and state investigations and led to two separate corruption charges. Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3NSAFpEfsc&feature=youtu.be
  • Legislative Spending

    The Morning Call created Pennsylvania’s first-ever map-based online database that sheds a light on how the state’s 253 lawmakers spent at least $13.8 million in taxpayer money in 2013. The result of The Morning Call’s efforts, Watchdog Report: Legislative Spending, published in three stories and accompanied by online maps and records, is nothing short of a virtual audit. It is the only place taxpayers – and lawmakers themselves -- can go to see how 203 representatives and 50 senators spent money because the Legislature has never done a similar in-depth audit. The stories and database allows users to compare how much lawmakers spent on anything they want, from office rents to meals to hotels to a private consultant who promoted a lawmaker’s acting gig. With such leeway and latitude, it’s easy to see why the Legislature wants to keep spending records from the public eye.