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.
A Chicago restaurant received an alarming demand: Pay $1,300 immediately or have the power shut off. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
Do Illinois patients have too many hoops to jump through? CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
It’s called “girdling” when a tree dangerously outgrows the iron grate that is meant to protect it. 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports.
The trees and bushes kept on growing. Shirley Hardy then called CBS 2’s Pam Zekman.
A new training tower for firefighters, paid for with $1 million in taxpayer money, is riddled with problems, CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman found.
A taxpayer-owned fitness center is not the place you’d expect to find a risqué pool party, complete with an advertised cash bar and exotic dancing. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
Eileen Scramuzzo lost a total of $3,200. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
The number of victims keeps increasing, despite raids and arrests by a Jamaican organized crime task force. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
The family of Eugene McSwain has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, seeking answers. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
CBS 2’s Pam Zekman has this follow-up to a 2 Investigators, Better Government Association report.
What’s driving the frightening rise in interstate shootings? CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
Pam Zekman reports when a crowdfunding site is involved, it’s a classic case of buyer beware.
You know where this is going: There was no grant. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
The 2 Investigators reveal it’s almost impossible to stop these modern-day cyber-pirates.
If you don’t see the dog with your own eyes, in person, it may not exist. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
Troy Paraday of Calumet City School District 155 makes a base salary of $315,814 — but that’s not all. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman looks at the numbers.
Did Cook County police strong-arm a Chicago mother to buy guns on the street before they’d release her daughter in a drug case? CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
A CBS 2 and Better Government Association investigation found that Cook County has failed to collect up to $20 million in fines for the tax violations.
A former student of a long-time Chicago Public School teacher is speaking publicly for the first time about how he was sexually exploited for years.
Federal officials say testing standards are about to be strengthened. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.