Investigative reporting with an impact.
That's my mission. Below, you can find links to my best stories: the ones that led to real change in public leadership, policies, ethics and more.
the kill line - southern poverty law center
My colleagues and I spent nearly a year investigating how poultry companies use prison work release programs as a source of exploitable labor. About a month after we set out to do so, we learned of the death of Frank Ellington, a work release hire at a poultry plant in rural Alabama. I spent the next eight months digging up public records about the accident and Alabama's work release program in general. This story is the result.
- July 27, 2018 The Kill Line
CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE - SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER
I investigated an egregious abuse of civil forfeiture laws in South Alabama, finding that a local drug task force sought to seize property from residents as the size of their grants from the U.S. Department of Justice decreased. I also led data research and analysis for a major policy report on the issue, Forfeiting Your Rights. A bill to reform civil forfeiture in Alabama, partially based on this work, passed the state Senate in the 2018 legislative session.
MISSISSIPPI iCE - sOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER
In the summer of 2017, I traveled to small towns in Mississippi to uncover the impact of President Trump's policies on the immigrant communities there. I found evidence of egregious abuses by ICE agents, some of which predated Trump's crackdown.
- June 26, 2017 ICE came for their fathers and mothers. Now these Mississippi families will live in poverty
- Oct. 6, 2017 A Mississippi police officer called ICE during a routine stop. Then an ICE agent shot an unarmed man
- Oct. 6, 2017 Police body camera footage obtained by SPLC shows aftermath of ICE shooting
corizon health - Southern poverty law center
I reviewed hundreds of pages of court filings, contracts, expert reports and my own inmate interview notes to reveal how a private prison health care company became so reluctant to send inmates to a hospital when they needed it--and the consequences of those decisions. Corizon Health abruptly ended its contract with the Alabama Department of Corrections in 2017.
- Oct. 27, 2016 Profits vs. Prisoners: How the largest U.S. prison health care provider puts lives in danger
STOCKMAN - houston chronicle
This series follows former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman of South Texas from the House of Representatives to a federal grand jury. In April 2018, federal prosecutors convicted Stockman on more than two-dozen charges of fraud and conspiracy for the activity revealed in these stories.
- Nov. 1, 2013 Campaign finances dog Stockman
- Nov. 23, 2013 Stockman's filings don't explain his income
- Nov. 12, 2014 Rep. Stockman, 3 aides subpoenaed
- April 26, 2015 Stockman mum on ties to Las Vegas charity
congressional travel - opensecrets.org
My previous reporting on foreign lobbying (see below) helped lead to a confrontation between the House Ethics Committee and the independent Office of Congressional Ethics about the release of documents to the public and the broader implications of allowing free trips for lawmakers as gifts. Most recently, several good-government groups came together to call for a moratorium on the practice.
- Aug. 4, 2015 Ethics chair received contributions from donors linked to groups in Azerbaijan probe
- Oct. 15, 2015 Prayer and Poultry: Foundation picked up tab for lawmaker's travel -- with support from chicken producer
- Oct. 28, 2015 Travel by ethics panel members adds wrinkle to Azerbaijan probe
- Nov. 6, 2015 Ethics watchdogs call for halt to lawmakers' privately sponsored overseas travel
- June 9, 2016 Ethics probe halts congressional travel to Turkey; free trips overall have slowed
Baku Bucks - houston chronicle
This is a series of reports on an all-expenses-paid trip to Azerbaijan by 10 members of Congress in 2013; the Washington Post picked up our investigation and called the ensuing ethics investigation the most extensive since the creation of the Office of Congressional Ethics.