Dave Savini

savini Dave SaviniAward-winning Chicago journalist Dave Savini serves as investigative reporter for CBS 2 Chicago.

Savini, whose exclusive investigations have earned him broadcast journalism’s top honors, began work at CBS 2 Chicago in July 2004. He was recently awarded broadcast journalism’s most coveted national award, a 2008 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for his investigation exposing gaping holes in security at O’Hare International Airport. The duPont Award is broadcast’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize which is also decided by a panel of judges at Columbia University in New York.


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Savini’s investigations have uncovered corruption in several police departments, exposed medical negligence, government waste, fraudulent charities and child exploitation. His reports have resulted in legal reforms and policy changes within government agencies, local corporations and have prompted new laws.

Savini won the 2006 Emmy for Best Hard News Series “Blindsided.” The investigation revealed how metal based road reflectors were breaking loose from roads, crashing through windshields and severely injuring motorists. The expose led to the immediate removal of broken or loose reflectors in DuPage County. Savini also broke the national story involving secret sexual harassment settlements involving William Kennedy Smith and his role with a Chicago based charity.

Savini has won the Associated Press award for Best Reporter five times and has been honored for excellence throughout his investigative reporting career. His many awards include: twenty-nine Associated Press Awards; twelve local Emmy Awards, including four for Individual Excellence; twelve Peter Lisagor Awards; two Herman Kogan Awards from the Chicago Bar Association; a national Clarion Award; twelve regional RTNDA awards and the national Edward R. Murrow Award.

Savini and long-time producer Michele Youngerman were honored in 2006 by the Chicago Bar Association for their series “Good Gifts Gone Bad.” The yearlong probe led to a new law after they revealed how millions of dollars worth of donated cars, clothes and toys meant for charity were actually being ripped off by felons and unlicensed middlemen. Savini and Youngerman also received the 2005 Associated Press Newspaper Award for Investigative Reporting about the scam that ran in the Naperville Sun, CBS 2 Chicago’s media partner. Their on-going series “Fly at Your Own Risk” exposed nearly 4,000 missing employee access badges at O’Hare International Airport– the largest security breach of its kind. The series led to sweeping arrests, federal investigations and a Chicago Inspector General probe into the Chicago Department of Aviation’s handling of these badges. The series was honored with a 2007 Silver Dome Award, 2008 regional RTNDA Murrow award and the 2008 Alfred I. duPont Award.

Before joining CBS 2 Chicago, Savini worked at WMAQ-TV in Chicago as an investigative reporter (1993-2004). His series “Selling Innocence” led to the arrest and conviction of a child sex-offender who was running a child modeling website. Savini was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show after he showed how the website was merely a front for a child porn operation. The series won a national Clarion award and was an Alfred I. duPont Award Finalist.

Savini exposed local 911 operators who were asleep on the job; uncovered faulty background checks of CTA workers; and revealed how children were being locked in dangerous time-out rooms in some Illinois schools. Savini’s investigation of “The Ford Heights Four” revealed four wrongfully imprisoned men who were sentenced to death. This report made national headlines, led to new DNA tests and ultimately led to their freedom.

Prior to working at WMAQ, Savini worked at WROC-TV in Rochester, New York as an anchor and investigative reporter. Before that, he was the Raleigh bureau chief at WNCT-TV in Greenville, North Carolina (1990-92). He began his career as a weekend anchor and investigative reporter at WHIZ-TV in Zanesville, Ohio. Savini’s fascination with broadcast journalism and investigative reporting began when he worked as an intern in WMAQ’s investigative unit in 1987. In addition to his broadcasting duties, Savini has written for several area newspapers including the Naperville Sun and the Aurora Beacon News.

Savini, who is an avid chef and triathlete, was born and raised in Chicago and is a 1985 graduate of Weber High School. He went on to earn a B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton in 1989.

Dabiq, a magazine created by ISIS. (Credit; CBS)

2 Investigators: ISIS Finding Innovative Ways To Find New Recruits

How is it doing this and why? CBS 2’s Dave Savini this original report.

06/30/2015

Crumb rubber samples (CBS)

2 Investigators: New Research Raises Safety Concerns About Crumb Rubber

The tiny rubber pellets, used sometimes in athletic fields, often contain cancer-causing chemicals. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.

06/11/2015

scam

2 investigators: Scammers Utilizing Medical Records To Fool Victims

It starts when you get a call from someone who knows all about your medical records and what medications you take.

06/02/2015

Metra commuters have to deal with slippery floors because of leaks at Chicago's train stations. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Rail-Station Ruins Put Commuters At Risk

Passengers must navigate leaks and slippery floors at Chicago’s passenger rail stations. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.

05/18/2015

David Sroge (CBS)

2 Investigators: Name-Changing Contractor Focus Of Fraud Complaints

David Sroge is a repeat felon. His arrests include thefts and deception in both Illinois and Indiana, where, in 2012, he allegedly took nearly $9,000 from a senior citizen for work he did not do. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.

05/11/2015

These are some of the items seized at Chicago airports. (CBS)

2 Investigators: The Crazy Things People Try To Get Past Airport Security

Everything from guns to martial-arts throwing stars to brass knuckles to corkscrews. CBS 2’s Dave Savini explains what authorities do with the items.

05/07/2015

Dave Savini pouring through a dumpster containing medical files with sensitive information. (Credit: CBS 2)

2 Investigators: Lisa Madigan Sues Medical Records Company After Files Found In Dumpster

CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini found the dumpster, alerted authorities and Tuesday, the Illinois Attorney General filed a lawsuit that could result in millions of dollars in fines.

05/05/2015

object

2 Investigators: Object Left Inside Woman For Years After Surgery

She wants to know how this could happen and how it could go undiagnosed for years – leaving her in constant pain.

04/29/2015

The latest designer drug, Flakka. (CBS)

2 Investigators: New Designer Drug, ‘Flakka,’ Makes Users Lose Their Minds

Flakka is targeted to young people with its cheap high, which costs just $3 to $5. CBs 2’s Dave Savini reports.

04/23/2015

Cook County government offered resources to move a private agency known as CEDA. (CBS)

2 Investigators: County Rapped After Using Public Resources For Private Agency’s Move

The Cook County Independent Inspector General calls it a clear ethics violation. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.

04/17/2015

An incense product that some young people are inhaling can have serious effects, officials warn. (CBS)

Feds File Charges In Wake Of Synthetic-Drug Death

(CBS) — Federal authorities are going after the owner of a Chicago-area smoke shop where synthetic drugs were sold. A local teen was killed after using drugs sold under the name iAroma, a form of […]

04/16/2015

A Megabus is towed away after a crash near Edinburgh, Indiana, on Monday. (Source: Twitter/CBS 4 Indy)

Latest Megabus Crash Raises Safety Concerns

CBS 2 Investigative Reporter Dave Savini looked at the company’s safety record with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

04/13/2015

Laurie Rovell's Lexus after a cave-in at a suburban parking garage. (photo provided)

2 Investigators: Village Cracks Down On Garage After Roof Collapses

Operators of a parking facility near O’Hare Airport say they will take additional safety precautions after inquiries by CBS 2’s Dave Savini.

03/30/2015

A kit of Naloxone, a heroin antidote that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, is displayed at a press conference about a new community prevention program for heroin overdoses in which New York police officers will carry kits of Naloxone, on May 27, 2014 in New York City. The New York Police Department is being provided 19,500 kits for officers; the program will begin after officers receive training. The Naloxone is administered nasally. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

2 Investigators: Why Aren’t More Cops Carrying Naloxone?

Every three days someone living in the suburbs dies from heroin. A medication that can reverse an overdose from heroin, and other opioids, is being carried by some first responders but not others.

03/25/2015

Tim Ryan (left) says he got his son Nick (right) addicted to heroin. (Family provided photos)

2 Investigators: Family Wrecked By Heroin Offers Sobering Lesson

Suburban mother of three Shannon Ryan recorded cell phone video to document her son Nick Ryan’s heroin addiction.

03/24/2015

Benito Juarez High School (CBS)

2 Investigators: High School Allegedly Used Grade-Cheating To Pass Students

Sources say the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Inspector General is looking into how Benito Juarez Community Academy High School uses “benchmark recovery” — a grading system that is supposed to help failing students meet standards. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.

03/05/2015

Inside the FBI's Regional Computer Forensics Lab in Chicago. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Chicago Lab Analyzes Cyber Evidence To Track Down Criminals

Bank robbers, killers, terrorists and other criminals leave behind digital and cyber evidence. Analyzing that evidence is the job of forensic lab investigators here in Chicago.

03/04/2015

Dave Savini pouring through a dumpster containing medical files with sensitive information. (Credit: CBS 2)

Feds, State Investigate After Medical Records Found In Firm’s Garbage Bin

Federal authorities will be in Northbrook on Friday, investigating a massive breach of medical and personal records first exposed by CBS 2’s Dave Savini.

02/26/2015

Dave Savini pouring through a dumpster containing medical files with sensitive information. (Credit: CBS 2)

2 Investigators: Medical Files With Personal Info Found In Dumpster

A massive breach of medical records containing confidential personal information has prompted both federal and state investigations.

02/25/2015

Artificial turf using crumb rubber could pose a cancer risk. (Credit: CBS0

2 Investigators: Crumb Rubber Turf Could Pose Cancer Risk

CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini did some testing of the turf being used by kids, teens and adults, and has the results in this Original Report.

02/11/2015

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