Picks of the Week: Nursing Licenses, Government Eavesdropping and Voter Rolls
In a regular feature of Post Investigations, our editors have combed through the in-depth and investigative reports from news outlets across the nation and selected the notable projects of the week.
Get the complete list (in no particular order) after the jump.
Calif. Nurses Still On The Job Despite Criminal Convictions
The state of California has routinely failed to discipline or revoke nursing licenses until nurses have had three or sometimes more criminal convictions, found ProPublica's Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein, working in conjunction with The Los Angeles Times.
Weber and Ornstein identified more than 115 recent instances in which nurses were allowed to continue to work despite criminal convictions. "In some cases, nurses with felony records continue to have spotless licenses -- even while serving time behind bars," The Times investigation found.
One nurse, Haydee Parungao, is in federal prison in Danbury, Conn., serving a nearly five-year sentence after admitting in 2006 that she bilked Medicare out of more than $3 million.
"Yet according to the state of California, she is a nurse in good standing, free to work in any hospital or medical clinic," The Times found.
Former Military Officers Say They Wiretapped U.S. Citizens
Hundreds of U.S. citizens overseas have had their personal phone calls wiretapped, two former military intercept operators who worked at the National Security Agency's center in Fort Gordon, Ga., told ABC News.
"The accounts of the two former intercept operators, who have never met and did not know of the other's allegations, provide the first inside look at the day to day operations of the huge and controversial US terrorist surveillance program," ABC News found.
The two former military employees also provided their accounts to investigative journalist James Bamford for his book "The Shadow Factory," which is scheduled for release next week.
In response, an unnamed U.S. intelligence official told the network that "all employees of the U.S. government" should expect that their telephone conversations could be monitored as part of an effort to safeguard security and "information assurance."
The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), said he would look into the allegations, which he called "extremely disturbing," The Post's Joby Warrick reported.
Thousands Of Voters Illegally Removed From Rolls
A New York Times investigation found that tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six "swing" states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that might violate federal law.
The problems apparently resulted from the improper handling of the registrations and voter files as states try to comply with a 2002 federal law, which is intended to overhaul the way elections are run, The Times' Ian Urbina reported.
"The screening or trimming of voter registration lists in the six states -- Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina -- could also result in problems at the polls on Election Day: people who have been removed from the rolls are likely to show up only to be challenged by political party officials or election workers, resulting in confusion, long lines and heated tempers," The Times found.
The Post's Mary Pat Flaherty has reported that the huge turnout expected on Nov. 4 could strain election operations, which have been in a constant state of flux as jurisdictions, have introduced new machines and procedures in recent years.
By Derek Kravitz |
October 10, 2008; 4:14 PM ET
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