The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "District financial records" ...
The ninth largest U.S. school district, Hillsborough County (FL), in 2006 was "growing fast enough to fill five new schools" per year. To meet the demand, Hillsborough county used the services of 4 private real estate brokers, without using bids, in violation of its own regulations. Three of the four brokers have records of criminal, legal and financial problems. Some of those brokers simultaneously represented the sellers, or flipped the land themselves, resulting in land purchases often made substantially above appraisal values. Reporters from the St. Petersburg Times documented swampland purchases, and school sites surrounded by the homes of sexual predators.
Tags: land; school board; school district superintendent; real estate brokers; realtors; swampland; bidding practices; state FOI; land flipping; rezoning applications; condemnation; assessments; appraisals; financial investigations; land records; wetland maps; FBI investigation; Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Excel; Matthew B. Cox; Chester B. Luney; Fred Edmister; National Realty Associates; school planning; Wilson-Miller; Florida Real Estate Commission; 2606 East Caracus Land Trust; Laurence E. Fuentes; Fuentes and Kreischer Title Co.; Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Using a hidden camera and the unpaid help of a mold remediation expert, reporters at KDFW exposed severe problems with the Wilmer-Hutchins district high school. News cameras also caught the district using illegal immigrants instead of mold remediation specialists to repair building problems. The investigation also lead to the discovery of mismanagement and fraud in the school district's leadership and its financial records. As a result of this report, a state education agency audit followed, along with investigations by the FBI, IRS, U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour division, and the Federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Throughout the investigation, district officials denied any wrongdoing, refused to hand over documents, and were eventually charged with tampering with evidence in the federal investigations.
Public schools in Oklahoma noticed that the maintenance of accounts in the district was in complete disarray. Investigations by The Oklahoman found that the district owed $3 million in overdue bills and had not paid up because they did not know if they had the funds. The investigation also found that the district had spent over $600,000 on a new telephone system only to scrap it a year later.
Reporters set out to see how accessible local government in the viewing area is to citizens. A local taxpayer was hired to ask more than 30 government agencies, school districts and police departments for records. These requests included financial records, documentation of reimbursements and emails from top public officials, all of which should have been open to the public. But government officials denied access and used intimidation and harassment to discourage further attempts.
The Dallas Morning News investigates conflicts of interests stemming from special incentives that the city government has put in place for suburban developers. In the core of these incentives was the creation of "largely unregulated and overlooked special taxing districts." The reporting team determined that Tom Jester, the mayor of Dallas at this time, had a financial interest in one of the luxury housing developments projected in the suburbs. The series also examines the role that outside consultants played in creating the special districts and facilitating the relationship between the city and the developers. After the findings were published, the FBI started a corruption investigation.
A San Francisco Examiner investigation explores a practice of questionable expenditures at the San Francisco Unified School District. The series focuses on the finding that "some San Francisco school custodians have doubled their salaries through overtime pay," charging the district for "answering" alarms that apparently never went off..." The investigation reveals that "the oversight may have cost millions over a number of years," as "the district failed to conduct the most basic oversight." It also shows a practice of boosting salaries through overtime among the schools' assistants and secretaries. Other parts of the series reveal that the district "has spent a half-million dollars over the last 10 years for a full-time sewing machines repair person, even though sewing programs had all but ended" and that the former chief financial officer of the school district has "collected nearly $ 40, 000 in compensatory and vacation time." The reporter details the school district's suits against those ex-workers who have inflated their wages or have been paid for work never done.
WFAA-TV (Fort Worth) reveals school district's transportation superintendent and others wasted $500,000 of taxpayer funds for purchase of unnecessary equipment and other items. The information was obtained through use of computers to analyze district financial records. Results of the investigation led to a prison sentence for the district's director of transportation and financial restitution paid to the district by two former superintendents and several vendors.