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 "plumber" ...
In Seattle, "Stop Freakin', call Beacon" is the catch-phrase that propelled Beacon Plumbing into an instantly recognizable brand and the region's largest emergency plumbing service. We found the company doing unlicensed plumbing work, shoddy repairs, and overcharging customers. Ensuing investigations revealed that the man in the Beacon uniform might not be a plumber at all and that his former dress code may have included pinstripes at the State lock-up.
This two-part series focused on a product called Zonolite. For decades it was used as an attic insulation in millions of homes across the United States. Internal documents from the company that mines the raw material, and government agencies found that the product contains tremolite asbestos, one of the most deadly forms of asbestos. It is related to numerous deaths and illness of the lungs from inhalation of the dust particles of the product. More than 70,000 homes statewide in Michigan (including Detroit) have the product in their attics. Many former employees of the company are at risk of lung ailments without their knowledge of the product's hazard. The series discovered that the EPA was trying to internally assess exactly what to tell the public who may come in contact with the product about how to handle Zonolite. It also included information about how to check the attic of a home to see if there is Zonolite, as well as precautions to be taken.
Tags: TAPE; Zonolite; EPA; Environmental Protection Agency; W.R. Grace; vermiculite; tremolite asbestos; asbestos; inhalation; dust particles Superfund cleanup sit; lung; homeowners; construction; contractor; plumber; attic; mine; toxicity; environmental damage; strip mining; dust; environmental medicine; carcinogen; Libby; mineral
Phil Burton, a 22-year veteran investigator with D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department, was forced from his job in October 1997. But for more than three years since then, he has continued to pursue convictions for his last major corruption case: For more than a decade, city plumbers from the Water and Sewer Authority were "taking bribes in exchange for performing private side jobs during their regular work hours." Over that time, "crews had been bilking the city out of an estimated $1 million a year in lost revenue, stolen equipment, torn-up streets, and overtime abuses." But after an extensive investigation, Burton had no luck convincing the MPD or the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute the alleged racketeers. "By the end of 1999, only 11 out of some 30 city workers he believed were guilty had been prosecuted. Although it was the biggest investigation in the IAD's recent history, Burton insists that it's only partially complete." Today, Burton keeps 30 boxes worth of paperwork at his home. He keeps them around in the hopes that somebody will prosecute the remaining suspects before the statute of limitations expires, in one year.
KIRO TV finds that "the Department of Labor and Industries does not do criminal background checks before issuing licenses to professional plumbers, electricians and contractors. KIRO TV uncovers more than 400 felons, convicted of at least 3500 crimes carrying state badges. This list also includes 45 registered sex offenders who acquired residential permits."