Pam Zekman

zekman Pam ZekmanPulitzer-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.

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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.

Aloysius Mack (CBS)

2 Investigators: Sham Marriage Drains Elderly Man’s Savings

Ninety-two-year-old Aloysius Mack, who has dementia, was a victim of a form of elder abuse. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

11/18/2016

Amy Trench, at computer, says she was defrauded by a student-loan relief organization. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Scam Artists Target Millennials With Offers Of College-Debt Relief

Some college grads are falling prey to offers to have their loans consolidated or their payments reduced. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

11/17/2016

Supt. Troy Paraday (CBS)

School District Struggles Financially, Superintendent Earns High Salary

$400,000 in salary and benefits! That’s what the Calumet City School Superintendent earns even though the district struggles financially.

11/11/2016

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Chicago Election Judges Behaving Badly: Cursing, Sleeping, Playing The Piano

Widescale boozing was out this year. Incidents appeared to be isolated on a day that could see record voter turnout. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

11/08/2016

Voters line up around the block outside the city of Chicago's new early voting super site in the Loop on Nov. 6, 2016, the eve of Election Day.

Officials Vow To Crack Down On People Who ‘Misbehave’ At Polls

Amateur poll watchers be warned. City and county election authorities will not tolerate illegal behavior. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

11/07/2016

CBS 2's Pam Zekman talks with Cook County Circuit Court Judge Arnette Hubbard. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Judge Takes Sick Leave For 17 Months, Collects Full Pay

The judge’s claims she was injured during an altercation did not bear out in court. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

11/04/2016

Reynaldo Guevara in a videotaped deposition. (video provided to CBS 2)

2 Investigators: Retired Cop Faces More Allegations He Framed Suspects

Allegations of misconduct against former Chicago detective Reynaldo Guevara have already cost taxpayers $21 million. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

10/28/2016

(CBS)

2 Investigators: Chicago Voters Cast Ballots From Beyond The Grave

Election officials insist there is an explanation as to why deceased people are still showing up on voter rolls. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

10/27/2016

(CBS)

Feds Announce Charges In IRS Phone Scam

Authorities say victims in the U.S. have lost a combined $300 million in this type of scam. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

10/27/2016

Jose Maysonet says he was forced to confess to murder by a Chicago detective who savagely beat him. On Oct. 26, 2016, he had his conviction vacated and was granted a new trial. | CBS

Man’s Double-Murder Conviction Vacated, Granted New Trial

Jose Maysonet says he was forced to confess to murder by a Chicago detective who savagely beat him. On Oct. 26, 2016, he had his conviction vacated and was granted a new trial.

10/26/2016

Jose Maysonet says he was forced to confess to murder by a Chicago detective who savagely beat him. On Oct. 26, 2016, he had his conviction vacated and was granted a new trial. | CBS

Detainee Who Claims He Was Forced To Confess To Murder Gets Chance To Prove Innocence

Jose Maysonet says he was forced to confess to murder by a Chicago detective who savagely beat him. And Wednesday, he may get a chance to prove his innocence.

10/25/2016

(CBS)

2 Investigators: Fake Power Company Extorts Business

A Chicago restaurant received an alarming demand: Pay $1,300 immediately or have the power shut off. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

10/10/2016

Mary Dal Pino (CBS)

2 Investigators: Patient, 77, Waits — And Waits — For Her Medical Marijuana Card

Do Illinois patients have too many hoops to jump through? CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

10/07/2016

An example of "girdling." (CBS)

2 Investigators: City Slow To Prevent Tree Deaths

It’s called “girdling” when a tree dangerously outgrows the iron grate that is meant to protect it. 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports.

09/30/2016

Shirley Hardy, left, and her daughter Terri Keating survey the overgrown property next door. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Resident Calls City About Overgrown Property — For Three Years

The trees and bushes kept on growing. Shirley Hardy then called CBS 2’s Pam Zekman.

07/29/2016

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Fire Training Tower Riddled With Problems

A new training tower for firefighters, paid for with $1 million in taxpayer money, is riddled with problems, CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman found.

07/12/2016

(CBS)

2 Investigators: Dolton Public Building Used For Racy Pool Party

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.

07/11/2016

Eileen Scramuzzo (CBS)

2 Investigators: Con Artists Hijack Widow’s Monthly Pension

Eileen Scramuzzo lost a total of $3,200. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

07/08/2016

(CBS)

2 Investigators: ‘Jamaican Lottery’ Preys Upon Seniors

The number of victims keeps increasing, despite raids and arrests by a Jamaican organized crime task force. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

06/20/2016

Eugene McSwain (picture provided to CBS 2)

2 Investigators: Officer Shot Suspect In Back Of Head, Casting Doubt On Cop’s Story

The family of Eugene McSwain has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, seeking answers. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

06/06/2016

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