Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



Search results for "Federal fund" ...

  • Contract to Cheat

    Contract to Cheat told an overlooked and poorly understood story of a construction industry dominated by companies willing to cheat on the backs of laborers and honest competitors. Using payroll records submitted for federally funded projects, reporters in eight McClatchy papers, the company's D.C. bureau and ProPublica examined the extent of the problem and exposed the government regulators who let it happen.

    Tags: industry; labor; competition; cheat; payroll

    By Mandy Locke

    McClatchy Newspapers

    2014

  • Billion Dollar Judge

    In 2016, the Social Security Disability trust fund is scheduled to become the first Federal program to run out of money. As Congress and the President race to find a way to save the fund, CBS 21 discovered an outlying disability judge who has approved billions in disability benefits over the past decade. This judge has approve six times more than the average disability judge and more than twice as much as America’s second highest active judge. Three weeks after CBS 21 reported on his record, Judge Charles Bridges was subpoenaed to testify before the United State Congress where this entry was discussed under oath and is now in Congressional record.

    Tags: disability; corruption; money; bankrupt

    By Chris Papst; Bill Seiders

    WHP-Harrisburg

    2014

  • The Real Death Valley

    Over the past five years, the remains of more than 400 migrants have been recovered in in rural Brooks County, Texas, some 70 miles north of the Mexico border. Yet no news organization had investigated why these deaths were occurring. Our investigation showed that stepped up border enforcement, interior border checkpoints, a lack of federal funds to support local law enforcement, inadequate emergency water supplies, and inadequate 911 emergency response by the U.S. Border Patrol contributed to this dramatic spike in deaths in what has become one of the deadliest migrant corridors in the American Southwest.

    Tags: texas; law enforcement; local; deaths; 911; emergency

    By Shawn Efran; Alina Falcon; John Carlos Frey; Gregory Gilderman; Solly Granatstein; Esther Kaplan; Neil Katz; Brandon Kieffer; Marisa Venegas; Katie Wiggin

    Weather Channel/The Investigative Fund/Telemundo

    2014

  • Investigation of a Community Health Center

    With an infusion of $11 billion, the 1,300 community health centers across the U.S. have been hailed as the backbone of the Affordable Care Act’s plan to leave no one without health care. That’s a lot of money to accomplish a lot of good. It’s also a lot of money to tempt those with larcenous intent. Two years ago, Alabama Media Group discovered that two community health centers -- Birmingham Health Care and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health -- had paid more than $2 million for contracts to companies owned by the centers’ CEO. Now there are indictments and allegations of $14 million in federal funds being diverted to private hands.

    Tags: health care; health centers; affordable care act; funding; insurance

    By Mike Oliver

    Alabama Media Group

    2014

  • Cashing in on Congressional Connections

    The Better Government Association investigated the lobbying business of a recently retired Illinois congressman, Jerry Costello, who represented a downstate district along with transportation interests as a member of key transportation committees. The investigation found that in his first year out of Congress, Costello lined up lucrative clients. He received $10,000 a month to lobby for Boeing, whose interests as a government contractor he promoted while in Washington, and $7,000 a month to lobby for a transit district that benefited from his help in securing millions of dollars in federal funding.

    Tags: congressman; Boeing; corruption; federal funding

    By Chuck Neubauer; Sandy Bergo

    Chicago Sun-Times

    2014

  • Just sign here: Federal workers max out at taxpayers' expense

    FMCS is a tiny independent federal agency whose director's first order of business was to use federal funds to buy artwork from his own wife, $200 coasters and champagne. The agency paid $85,000 to the phantom company of a just-retired official for no services; spent $50,000 at a jewelry store, supposedly on picture frames to give its 200 employees "tenure awards;" and leased its people $53,000 cars. Large portions of its employees routinely used government credit cards for clearly personal items after merely requesting to have them “unblocked” from restricted items, according to 50,000 pages of internal documents obtained by the Washington Examiner--raising questions about purchase card use in other agencies. Federal employees were charging cell phones for their whole families and cable TV at not just their homes, but their vacation homes too, to the government. Its IT director has had hundreds of thousands of dollars of high-end electronics delivered to his home in West Virginia, and there is no record of many of those items being tracked to federal offices. Many other items billed are highly suspect, such as $500 for single USB thumb drives that retail for $20. Virtually all of its spending circumvented federal procurement laws. When employees pointed out rulebreaking, Director George Cohen forced one accountant to write a letter to the GSA retracting her complaint, had another top employee walked out by armed guards, and fired another whistleblower, a disabled veteran, for missing a day of work while she laid in the ICU. At an agency the size of FMCS, where corruption went to the top, there were no higher levels to appeal to, no Inspector General, and--previously--no press attention.

    Tags: Fraud; spending

    By Luke Rosiak

    Washington Examiner

    2013

  • Merchants of Meth

    I exposed a concerted and well-funded campaign by the country’s leading pharmaceutical companies to defeat bills in Congress and state legislatures that were aimed at stopping the spread of toxic methamphetamine labs. At issue? Pseudoephedrine sales. The popular decongestant is the one key ingredient needed to make homemade meth. It also generates revenue for major pharmaceutical firms such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck of more than $600 million a year. Fuelled by easy access to pseudoephedrine, the number of meth labs in the United States has increased by more than 60 percent since 2007. Thanks in large part to pharmaceutical industry lobbying, there has been no federal legislation to address the spread of meth labs since 2005. In 2006, Oregon successfully moved to restrict meth cooks’ access to pseudoephedrine by making it a prescription drug, despite heavy lobbying against the bill from the pharmaceutical industry. Since then, the number of meth labs in the state has fallen drastically—by more than 90 percent. Faced with the mounting social, law enforcement, and environmental costs associated with meth, legislators in at least 25 other states sought to pass similar laws. But pharmaceutical lobbyists fought back, and in all but one state—Mississippi—the bills were defeated. My reporting examined how the industry has set state lobbying spending records as it has deployed a new kind of lobbying strategy to block regulation of pseudoephedrine. Instead of focusing their efforts on courting politicians, they have taken their message directly to voters, deploying thousands of robocalls in key electoral districts and large ad buys in major media markets for advertising across multiple platforms from radio to the Internet. Their messaging, I found, was deceptive, failing to even mention that the proposed bills had to do with combatting the meth epidemic. I also examined the results of an electronic pseudoephedrine sales tracking database known as NPLEx, which is meant to prevent excessive purchasing. While it’s the only reform to ever earn backing from the pharmaceutical industry, I found a system full of holes that has been ineffective at preventing the spread of meth labs in virtually every state that has adopted it.

    Tags: Pharmaceutics; Methamphetamine;

    By Jonah Engle

    Mother Jones

    2013

  • UNO: For insiders, charter schools pay

    This investigation exposed millions of dollars in insider deals made by a major operator of taxpayer-financed, privately run charter schools in Chicago. It prompted: the freezing of state funding; the ouster of the organization's top two officials; two state investigations; and one federal investigation.

    Tags: Charter schools; Chicago; state funding

    By Dan Mihalopoulos

    Chicago Sun-Times

    2013

  • Congressional Rents

    Inside Edition’s report on “Congressional Rents” is an unprecedented investigation that uncovered case after case of US Congressmen overpaying rent for their congressional offices to fat-cat campaign donors. The rent money comes from their Member’s Representation Allowance (MRA) which is funded by tax dollars. Reporters and researchers for Inside Edition exhaustively examined tens of thousands of documents, including Secretary of State corporate records, Federal Election Commission campaign donor databases, and the Statement of Disbursements for the US House of Representatives to help uncover the shady leases for their congressional offices.

    Tags: None

    By Larry Posner

    Inside Edition (New York)

    2013

  • How Washington Starves Its Election Watchdog

    Born in the Watergate scandal’s ashes, Congress created the Federal Election Commission as a bulwark against political corruption and champion of transparency and disclosure. But a six-month investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, "How Washington Starves Its Election Watchdog," showed the agency is so fractured by partisan politicking and bereft with staffing and funding woes that it is “rotting from the inside out.”

    Tags: fec; politics; funding

    By Dave Levinthal; John Dunbar

    Center for Public Integrity

    2013