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 "tickets" ...

  • Walking While Black

    “Walking While Black,” a meticulously researched and powerful reporting project, showed Jacksonville's enforcement of pedestrian violations to be racially disproportionate. Using hard-won data from a variety of local and state agencies, Topher Sanders and Ben Conarck, both veterans of reporting in Jacksonville, showed the disparities across every category of pedestrian tickets in Duval County. They then found those ticketed, and chronicled the impact — on their driver’s licenses, on their credit ratings, on their day to day ability to work and raise families in a city notorious for its lack of adequate pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Driven Into Debt

    This ongoing series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • VPR: Watch Your Speed

    Law enforcement in Vermont issued more than 24,000 tickets worth upwards of $4 million in fines to drivers in 2017. A quarter were issued in three small towns. This investigation revealed how one county sheriff has profited from his traffic contracts with two of the towns. It also showed how issuing traffic tickets allowed another town to maintain an unusually low tax rate.
  • Toronto Star/CBC - Secret Scalpers

    Online ticket sales have changed everything you thought you knew about getting into your favorite concert or sporting event. In a year-long coproduction, the Toronto Star and CBC exposed how the traditional competing forces of the box office and the scalpers have been replaced by a ticket marketplace where the box office is the scalper. Using a pioneering technique to scrape data from online ticket sellers, we showed the dominance of the scalping market and the tricks used by box offices to get you to pay more. We also went undercover to reveal how TicketMaster works in cahoots with the scalpers it claims to combat.
  • ProPublica Illinois: Driven Into Debt

    This series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • Post and Courier (SC): Dan Johnson investigation

    In a system with little scrutiny, prosecutor Dan Johnson used his office accounts like an ATM machine, dipping into public dollars to travel the globe, host lavish parties and buy everything from gym memberships to plane tickets to the Las Vegas strip.
  • WDSU Investigates: Parking Ticket Turmoil

    "WDSU Investigates: Parking Ticket Turmoil" is an in-depth six-month investigation into erroneously issued parking tickets by the city of New Orleans. WDSU’s investigation spurred a probe by the city’s Inspector General. In the months following, it was discovered that nearly 7,000 parking citations were improperly issued, potentially costing drivers hundreds of thousands of dollars in false payments.
  • Citation Nation

    In our investigation Citation Nation, we exposed Colorado municipalities aggressively ticketing drivers for financial gain and for survival. In Campo, Colorado we uncovered traffic tickets and court fees bringing in 93% of the town’s revenue. The state average is approximately 4%, based on our extensive analysis of 270 budget reports from every single recognized town and city throughout the state. [https://vimeo.com/150724208] [https://vimeo.com/131464361]
  • No Parking

    The City of Salt Lake is short millions of dollars in unpaid parking citations. The KSL Investigators dug around looking into the worst offenders, and found a government agency topping the list... several times over. More specifically, the United States Postal Service. They owe the city a lot of money and refuse to pay up. So, how are postal workers getting away with it?
  • The secret world of government debt collection

    CNNMoney’s report, The Secret World of Government Debt Collection, exposes an industry rife with political corruption, aggressive tactics and legal loopholes. In this world, forgotten tolls can snowball into hundreds of dollars in debt and unpaid speeding tickets can land people in jail. We found that thanks to legal exemptions, collectors working for government agencies typically don’t have to follow the main federal law that regulates the debt collection industry, and state consumer protection laws often don’t apply either. All of this opens the door for steep fees that other debt collectors couldn’t dream of charging, and allows them to threaten consequences as dire as arrest. The report focused on one of the industry’s biggest players, Texas-based law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson. Through our reporting, we uncovered this little-known firm’s massive influence and controversial political ties. For example, Linebarger spends more on state lobbying than Texas giants Exxon and Halliburton, and it pours millions of dollars into political campaigns. It even has current elected officials on its payroll and has become entangled in multiple bribery scandals. CNNMoney discovered it is also currently linked to an ongoing FBI investigation. But Linebarger continues to rake in lucrative government contracts, making its top executives and founders rich while the debtors it goes after are left scrambling to pay its steep fees. And because firms like Linebarger are powered by government agencies, consumers are left with little recourse.