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Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
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Our First Annual Top Ten List

POSTED: 07:57 AM ET, 05/ 2/2008 by The Editors

In what we hope becomes an annual tradition, the Post Investigations blog names the top newspaper investigations of 2007:

The Top Ten(alphabetically by newspaper name)

1. Charlotte Observer, staff
"Sold a Nightmare"

The project examined the root causes of the Charlotte area's high rate of housing foreclosures, focusing on a 10-year-old subdivision where lenders have foreclosed on about a fifth of its 406 homes. Major awards: George Polk Award for economic reporting; finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

2. Chicago Tribune, staff
"Hidden Hazards"

The articles exposed flaws in the Consumer Product Safety Commission's regulation of toys, car seats and cribs, leading to recalls of hazardous products and congressional action.
Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting; Roy Howard Award for Public Service; George Polk Award for Consumer Reporting; finalist for Selden Ring Award.

3. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, David Umhoefer
Abuse of county pension funds

Stories on the skirting of tax laws to pad pensions of county employees, prompting change and possible prosecution of key figures. Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting;

4. National Journal, Edward T. Pound
Investigation of HUD Secretary Alphono Jackson

Broke the story of possible malfeasance by HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, who had lined up a $485,000 contract at the HUD-controlled Housing Authority of New Orleans for a golfing buddy and social friend from Hilton Head Island, S.C. Jackson eventually resigned.

5. The New York Times, Walt Bogdanich and Jake Hooker
"A Toxic Pipeline"

The articles traced the origin of toxic ingredients in medicine and other everyday products imported from China, leading to crackdowns by American and Chinese officials. Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting; Scripps Howard Farfel Prize for Investigative Reporting; Investigative Reporters and Editors' Medal; finalist for the Goldsmith and Selden Ring awards.

6. Palm Beach Post, Tom Dubocq
"Palm Beach County's Culture of Corruption"

A two-year investigation exposed Palm Beach County's worst corruption scandal in nearly a century, prompting federal investigations and leading two county commissioners, a prominent lobbyist and a governor's appointee to plead guilty to corruption charges. Major awards: Finalist for Goldsmith Award.

7. The Salt Lake City Tribune, Loretta Tofani
"American Imports, Chinese Deaths"

Tofani, a freelance reporter, visited more than 25 factories in China and observed first-hand how workers routinely risk their health and sometimes their lives making products for export to the United States and other countries. Major awards: Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting; Investigative Reporters and Editors' Medal; finalist for the Goldsmith Award and for the Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism.

8. The Seattle Times, staff
"Victory and Ruins"

The Times revisited the University of Washington's legendary Rose Bowl -winning football team of 2000, finding that the school and athletic officials, as well as the city's major institutions, tolerated a pattern of criminal conduct and hooliganism by the players.

9. The Washington Post, Dana Priest and Anne Hull
"Walter Reed and Beyond"

The articles exposed mistreatment of wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital, creating a public outcry and leading to reforms of the military's medical system. Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for Public Service; Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting; Worth Bingham Award; Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service; Investigative Reporters and Editors' Medal; finalist for the Goldsmith Award and for the Farfel Prize.

10. The Washington Post, Bart Gellman and Jo Becker
"Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency"

How the most powerful vice president in history has influenced national policies on terrorism, homeland security, the economy, the environment and the Supreme Court. Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting; Goldsmith Award for Investigative Reporting; George Polk Award for Political Reporting.

Read on for Honorable Mentions....

Honorable Mentions:

Dallas Morning News, Brooks Egerton and Reese Dunklin: "Unequal Justice: Murderers on Probation."

Denver Post, staff: "Trashing the Truth," destruction of DNA archives in criminal cases.

High Country News, Colorado, Ray Ring: deaths in the oil and gas fields.

Los Angeles Times, Alan C. Miller and Myron Levin: "Danger in Tow," an investigation of U-Haul.

Newsday, staff: "Investigating the Gap," an investigation of hazards on Long Island Railroad platforms.

New York Times, Charles Duhigg: "Golden Opportunities," a series on how business and investors have profited from the growing aging population.

Orlando Sentinel, Vicki McClure and Mary Shanklin: "Charter Schools: Missing the Grade."

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Sally Kestin, Peter Franceschina and John Maines: "Fast Fortune, Big Spending," the Seminole tribe.

The Washington Post, James Grimaldi and Jacqueline Trescott: Troubles at the Smithsonian.

By The Editors |  May 2, 2008; 7:57 AM ET
Previous: GSA Chief Lurita Doan Forced Out | Next: D.C. Tenants Get Little Help


Please email us to report offensive comments.

In two states where US attorneys are already under fire for serious allegations of political prosecutions, seven people associated with three federal cases have experienced 10 suspicious incidents including break-ins and arson.

These crimes raise serious questions about possible use of deliberate intimidation tactics not only because of who the victims are and the already wide criticism of the prosecutions to begin with, but also because of the suspicious nature of each incident individually as well as the pattern collectively. Typically burglars do not break-into an office or private residence only to rummage through documents, for example, as is the case with most of the burglaries in these two federal cases.

In Alabama, for instance, the home of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman was burglarized twice during the period of his first indictment. Nothing of value was taken, however, and according to the Siegelman family, the only items of interest to the burglars were the files in Siegelman's home office.

Siegelman's attorney experienced the same type of break-in at her office.

In neighboring Mississippi, a case brought against a trial lawyer and three judges raises even more disturbing questions. Of the four individuals in the same case, three of the US Attorney's targets were the victims of crimes during their indictment or trial. This case, like that of Governor Siegelman, has been widely criticized as a politically motivated prosecution by a Bush US Attorney.

The main target of the indictment, attorney Paul Minor, had his office broken into, while Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, Oliver E. Diaz Jr., had his home burglarized. According to police reports and statements from Diaz and from individuals close to Minor, nothing of value was taken and the burglars only rummaged through documents and in Minor's case, also took a single computer from an office full of expensive office equipment.

The incidents are not limited to burglaries. In Mississippi, former Judge John Whitfield was the victim of arson at his office. In Alabama, the whistleblower in the Don Siegelman case, Dana Jill Simpson, had her home burned down, and shortly thereafter her car was allegedly forced off the road.

All of these crimes remain unsolved.

Yet in Florida a series of similar and far more extensive brutal crimes, resulting in far more serious injuries and many more deaths, including arson, well-financed obstruction of justice, burglaries, life-threatening torture and Much More makes the Alabama crime spree look quaint. Hundreds of advanced techniques were used simultaneously for an extended period of time.

Posted by: Singing Senator | May 2, 2008 9:31 AM

The link to

"Palm Beach County's Culture of Corruption"

is not working.

Posted by: Singing Senator | May 2, 2008 12:18 PM

The correct link to "Palm Beach County's Culture of Corruption" is

Posted by: Eric | May 2, 2008 3:48 PM

Thanks...that Palm Beach link should work now.

--Lawrence Roberts
Investigations Editor
The Washington Post

Posted by: Lawrence Roberts | May 2, 2008 4:01 PM

Detroit Free Press investigations into Detroit's corrupt city government were top notch, should be on this list.

Posted by: Stephen | May 2, 2008 4:11 PM

The Detroit text message scandal broke in January 2008. It will be on next year's list.

Jeff Leen
Assistant Managing Editor for Investigations
The Washington Post

Posted by: Jeff Leen | May 2, 2008 4:45 PM

The New York Times reporter who wrote about the toxic pipeline is Walt Bogdanich, not Walt Bogdonich.

Posted by: Rick | May 2, 2008 4:59 PM

here's the correct url for no. 1 on the list.

Posted by: joe sovacool | May 2, 2008 5:32 PM

Your list consists almost entirely of series that have won major awards. It would have been more interesting if you had found some diamonds in the rough.

Posted by: predictable | May 2, 2008 5:32 PM

Interesting concept. Create a list so you can pat yourself on the back.

Posted by: Kenny | May 2, 2008 9:30 PM

It is funny how Alphonso Jackson's $400k favor to a friend is such a big deal, while the Alabama Investigations by Raw Story, John Ashcroft $28+m no-bid contracts, Roger Clemens & Mitchelll Report (It is an investigative Report...with less teeth than a rag.) don't figure in anyone's list?

Curious! Are folks only after the likes of Alphonso Jackson & Lurita Doan?

Posted by: Steve | May 2, 2008 11:19 PM

To Jeff Leen: The Seattle Times expose was published in 2008, so why are you naming it one of the best investigations of 2007?

Posted by: E.N. | May 3, 2008 10:45 PM

Our mistake. Thank you for pointing it out. That is another one that will probably join Detroit in next year's list.

Posted by: Jeff Leen | May 5, 2008 11:23 AM

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