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 "rezoning applications" ...
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