Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Pam Zekman serves on CBS 2 Chicago’s investigative team, a position she has held since 1981. During that time, her thorough investigations have earned every major award in television reporting and resulted in governmental reforms and criminal indictments.
Most recently Zekman, and her producer Dan Blom, have exposed dangerous cab drivers with long histories of moving traffic violations and accidents including some that injured or killed pedestrians or passengers. The reports resulted in a major overhaul in the way the city tracks their driving records and toughened enforcement efforts to suspend or revoke their licenses to drive a cab.
Another investigation exposed fraud in the federal multi-million dollar free and reduced school lunch program meant to feed low income children. Zekman found Chicago Public School teachers and administrators falsified free lunch application forms to show their children qualified even though their parents’ income disqualified them. Fifty five CPS employees have been suspended or fired.
The owners of million dollar homes taxed for years as vacant land were highlighted in another Zekman investigation that exposed systemic failures by the Cook County Assessor’s office. A review of all vacant land in Cook County was ordered and procedures changed to help ensure that everyone pays their fair share of property taxes. Other stories exposed how property owners claimed exemptions they weren’t entitled to, saving thousands of dollars in taxes. Legislation was proposed to crack down on the abuses.
Towing companies that chase business at car accident scenes, ripping off vulnerable accident victims with fraudulent and inflated charges, were exposed in another investigation. Some of that money was used to pay off cops who steered them accident business, according to a federal undercover investigation that has indicted ten officers so far. New state regulations were passed to protect consumers.
Over the years Zekman’s investigations have exposed government waste by city, county, and state employees who were suspended or fired after they were caught with our hidden cameras at home, in bars, asleep, or playing golf when they should have been at work. Some highly paid pay rollers were misused by their bosses to work as their chauffeurs, run personal errands for their bosses, or as party planners.
Another investigation documented $40 million of waste at the Chicago Board of Education and resulted in sweeping changes in the way contracts are awarded, along with the conviction of contractors and school officials, including a former school board president.
An undercover investigation of Medicaid and Medicare fraud resulted in the convictions of dozens of doctors, pharmacists, and the operators of a chain of medical clinics. Several reports on Dangerous Doctors repeatedly sued for performing unnecessary surgeries, or malpractice that injured or killed their patients resulted in reforms by state regulators.
Zekman’s team worked undercover in restaurants to document disgusting conditions and critical violations that can make customers sick.
CBS 2 has obtained some new details today from Darren Vann’s official military personnel file, from 1991 until his departure 19 months later.
Alleged serial killer Darren Vann used an online classified advertising service to lure at least one of his victims to her death, according to police.
Were there warning signs that Darren Vann would kill a series of female victims? CBS 2’s Pam Zekman looks at his long criminal history.
Hospitals supported by taxpayers have paid out more than $180 million in Illinois for wrongful death cases — deaths that could have been prevented.
A pack of cigarettes in Chicago can cost as much as $15 and with the soaring price the trafficking of contraband cigarettes is way up as well.
Wheelchair user Judy Heyworth is tired of seeing abuses when she visits downtown Chicago. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman takes her complaints to City Hall.
David and Sanaa McClain say the Landmarks Commission has blocked their efforts to raze a ramshackle, mold-infested house. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman investigates.
A massage is supposed to be a calm, soothing experience, but that’s not what several Chicago patrons say they received when they went to local Massage Envy locations.
2 Investigator Pam Zekman and the Better Government Association have been working for a year to get videotape of the alleged incident.
(CBS) — Thousands of Social Security beneficiaries have become victims of identity thieves who have hacked into their accounts and stolen millions of dollars in desperately needed benefits. 69-year-old Carole Folkes is one of them. [...]
You’ll be surprised what 2 Investigator Pam Zekman and the Better Government Association discovered.
Without metal detectors at the entrance of buildings open to the public, there’s no way to keep a gun out, security experts say.
There have been a string of fatal truck accidents in the Chicago area caused by drivers who were charged with falsifying their driving logs and were apparently too tired to drive safely.
Federal rules limit truckers from driving more than 11 of the 14 consecutive hours they work. They have to take a ten hour break before driving again.
CBS 2’s Pam Zekman helps Cook County authorities set up some fake-ticket makers.
There’s a huge backlog of thousands of requests for city trees to be trimmed or removed–often because residents believe they are damaged or dead and could be dangerous.
A Chicago Police officer was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for insurance fraud by staging an accident and soliciting payoffs from a towing company in exchange for steering it accident business.
Your home is damaged by a bad storm. After the storm contractors may show up at your door soliciting you to sign up with them to fix the damage. But watch out for some of the tricks of the trade homeowners have learned the hard way.
The man hired to police aldermen says a legal loophole is frustrating his ability to do his job. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
It took two years for the Assessor Joseph Berrios to get new laws he needed for this action — an effort that began after a 2 Investigators report in 2011 on one of the biggest violators. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.