Projects

Kentucky Capitol Building at night

Alleged Sexual Harassment at the Statehouse

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting first uncovered the claims of veteran Capitol staffers who said longtime State Rep. John Arnold had repeatedly sexually harassed them. Arnold resigned.

Latest Update: Settlement Reached in Sexual Harassment Lawsuits Against Kentucky LRC, Lawmakers

Democrat-Heavy University Boards Run Counter to State Law

KyCIR uncovered state university boards stacked with Democrats, in clear violation of the law. Many of Gov. Steve Beshear's board appointees were also donors to his campaigns.

Latest Update: Bevin Ends Predecessor’s Effort To Dismiss University of Louisville Lawsuit

Dying For Dollars: For-Profit Health Care in Kentucky’s Jails

An examination of a health care system that runs counter to national standards, and often falls far short of meeting medical needs. While Kentucky counties look to cut costs, for-profit companies have stepped in. But inmates are suffering and state officials aren't doing anything about it.

Latest Update: Lawsuit Over 2013 Montgomery County Jail Death Settled

Gynnya McMillen's Death in a Detention Center

Our series of reports into the mysterious detention center death of 16-year-old Gynnya McMillen.

Latest Update: What Did, Didn’t Make It Through This Legislative Session

How A Kentucky Rape Case Is Testing The Integrity Of The Criminal Justice System

Her troubles continued even after her alleged rapist was indicted. Death threats. Vandalism. A suspicious car fire. The local sheriff -- a friend of defendant Billy Joe Miles -- got involved. But whose interests was he serving?

Latest Update: Daviess County Sheriff Denies Conflict Of Interest In Rape Case

Kentucky Constables: Untrained And Unaccountable

Kentucky’s constables are gods unto themselves, armed with badges and guns but almost always with little or no formal training. And their actions have grave consequences.

Latest Update: What Did, Didn’t Make It Through This Legislative Session

Kentucky Justice? Kicked Out of the Commonwealth

A Carroll County judge ordered police to send a troubled local man to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation. But police had other plans for dealing with their petty crime problem. They sprung him from jail and put him on a bus to Florida.

Latest Update: Carrollton Police Chief Held In Contempt In Banishment Case

Kentucky Money the Fuel for Cross-Border Casinos, Other State Budgets

Kentucky eschews casinos but embraces horse betting. Meanwhile, neighboring states have netted a total of $3.9 billion in taxes in the past decade from their combined eight casinos on the north bank of the Ohio River.

Latest Update: What You Need to Know About The Kentucky Expanded Gaming Proposal

Kentucky Nepotism: In Hiring, County Officials Can — and Do — Turn to Relatives

We found Kentucky has a patchwork of ethics policies, many legalizing nepotism, many with rules so infused with loopholes that public officials readily bring their relatives aboard.

Latest Update: How Your County Handles (Or Doesn’t Handle) Nepotism Hires

Kentucky's Pension Holders Kept in the Dark

A look into the secretive Kentucky Retirement Systems and the $15.7 billion under its control. For the roughly 340,000 state, city and county workers and retirees, there are more questions about their investments than answers.

Latest Update: Republican Lawmakers Seek More Accountability For Troubled Kentucky Pension Agencies

Only in Kentucky: Jailers Without Jails

A look into a wasteful, nepotism-laced but little-discussed jailers system that costs Kentucky taxpayers approximately $2 million annually.

Latest Update: Bill To Hold No-Jail Jailers Accountable Heads To Governor

Politics, Misinformation and Money Fuels a Controversial Power Plant

A KyCIR investigation raises questions about political maneuvering for a power plant in eastern Kentucky and whether leaders sacrificed the public good to benefit a few.

Latest Update: Court Derails Plan For Controversial Biomass Plant In Eastern Kentucky

Red Flags: The University Of Louisville, A Big Donor And Ownership Of An Abandoned Factory

KyCIR reveals how the university’s nonprofit fundraising arm took a 99 percent ownership stake of a vacant factory in Oklahoma. The move appears to have no academic purpose and raises ethical red flags, experts said.

Latest Update: U of L Foundation Reverses Course, Won’t Independently Review Oklahoma Real Estate Deal

The Community College President and His Post-Career Public Windfall

As Kentucky Community and Technical College System faces cuts and tuition hikes, President Michael McCall receives significant perks and a post-career payday.

Latest Update: KCTCS Compensation Study Relied On Flawed Data, Methodology

The Congressman, His Wife and the Lobbyist

A KyCIR investigation into money, politics and ethics explored the business ties between longtime U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield, his lobbyist wife, and another well-known lobbyist. For more than a decade, the trio was linked in a financial partnership — a land deal at a luxury resort in West Virginia. Meanwhile, the two lobbyists had clients and employers with business before Whitfield in Congress.

Latest Update: U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield To Leave Office Early, Resign From Congress Next Week

The Death Penalty In Kentucky: Stayed And Uncertain

Amid the many delays, lawsuits and shifting social and political landscape, KyCIR examines the future of capital punishment in Kentucky.

Latest Update: The New Conservative Push To End Capital Punishment

The Judge and the Questionable Campaign Contributions

Since 2008, Jefferson County Judge Katie King has loaned or given her campaigns more than $550,000, according to KREF’s online database. It’s a pattern she’s followed in three successive elections cycles -- and a maneuver for which she was once scolded and fined by state campaign finance officials.

Latest Update: Jefferson County Judge’s Campaign Contributions Raise Questions

Richard Hooten in 1985

The Man With Many Chances

Fundamental failures throughout the criminal justice system allowed a veteran felon to continue his predatory habits with little intervention. Then a young girl died.

Latest Update: Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting Wins National Edward R. Murrow Award

The University of Louisville Cloaked in Secrecy

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting has fought for the release of public records and information from the University of Louisville.

Latest Update: U of L Foundation Settles Records Lawsuit With KyCIR

Trouble Behind Bars

Trouble Behind Bars is a months-long investigation into Kentucky jail deaths. We found preventable deaths that provoked little to no follow-up, as well as failures at all levels of government. Who is dying in your local county jail? Not even the state Department of Corrections has a true, accurate and updated accounting.

Latest Update: What Did, Didn’t Make It Through This Legislative Session

Troubled Tiger Exhibit Puts Public's Safety at Risk

A KyCIR investigation found that a Louisville-area nonprofit housing wild animals has a troubled record; that state and federal officials have done little to address complaints; and the handling of lions and other exotic animals is potentially putting the public's safety at risk.

Latest Update: USDA Launches New Attempt to Revoke Tiger Petting Zoo License