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.

This surveillance image shows Sgt. Brandin Fredrickson of  the Lynwood Police  Department throwing a suspect against a door. (Lynwood Police)

2 Investigators/BGA: Did Lynwood Police Department Try To Cover Up Alleged Brutality?

(CBS) — A Lynwood police sergeant has been fired for allegedly beating up a handcuffed man and the village has agreed to pay the victim half a million dollars to settle his lawsuit. It took […]

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This steel support is rusted through, beneath a Chicago underpass. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Steel Columns Supporting Bridges Riddled With Holes, Rust

Immediate action needs to be taken, an expert tells CBS 2’s Pam Zekman.


Stack of cash (CBS)

2 Investigators: Pensioners Fight Back When Fund Demands Overpayments Be Returned

More than 500 retirees were overpaid more than $5 million over 40 years because of mistakes admitted by the Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 pension fund. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman has this follow-up report.


Robert Knapik (CBS)

2 Investigators: ‘Low T’ Lawsuit Challenges Safety Of Male Hormone-Boosters

(CBS) — Millions of men now take testosterone therapy to reduce fatigue, increase their sex drive and feel younger. But is the hormone harming them or helping them? The debate involving thousands of men is […]


Butt Injections

2 Investigators: Cosmetic Butt Injections? Proceed With Caution

More than a dozen deaths have been reported across the country of women undergoing cosmetic injections to have a more curvaceous figure.


A warning about hackers targeting real estate transactions. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Cyber Criminals Targeting Real Estate Transactions

This cyber-crime has gotten so big the National Association of Realtors has issued a fraud alert about it.


A speed camera system in Chicago. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Some Profitable Speed Cameras Are Nowhere Near Schools, Parks

What are they really for? CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.


(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Rechargeable Battery Packs Could Store Hidden Danger

2 Investigator Pam Zekman got a tip about an exploding rechargeable battery pack that she just had to check out.


Gary Grosskopf, the Oswego Township Road Commissioner (CBS)

2 Investigators: Oswego Road Official Silent On Questions Over Work From Florida

Oswego township commissioners say legally they can do nothing to stop the conduct of the highway commissioner because they are all elected officials, but, unofficially, we’ve learned he’s promised to change his ways.


Richard Poethig and his wife, Eunice, had their credit card account compromised through a telephone scam. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Fraudsters Can Steal Your Phone Number — And More — Through ‘Porting’

Legitimately used, it’s a convenient way to transfer your old phone number to a new phone and carrier or home. Illegitimately, it’s being used by identity thieves. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.


Groupon Hotel Room (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Booker Beware: Many Online Hotel Sites Are A Scam

Travelers looking to book a hotel are being advised to use caution as many travel websites that appear legitimate are being run by scammers.


Gary Grosskopf, the Oswego Township Road Commissioner (CBS)

2 Investigators: Suburban Road Commissioner Who Worked By Phone From Florida Apologizes

Oswego Township Road Commissioner Gary Grosskopf issued a written statement today defending his 26 year record on the job, but also apologizing for the negative perception of all of his Florida trips.


Better Government Association logo. (Credit: BGA)

2 Investigators, BGA: Should Suburban Road Commissioner Who Worked From Florida Give Salary Back?

Should a suburban road commissioner pay a chunk of his salary back to taxpayers?


Snow blankets Chicago on Sunday, amid a blizzard that dropped more than 19 inches on the city by early Monday morning. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Oswego Township Road Official Oversaw Snow Removal — From Florida

Critics argue Gary Grosskopf, an elected official who draws nearly $100,000 in pay, is phoning it in, CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.


(credit: Steve Hardy/CBS Local)

2 Investigators: Spot Inspections At The Taste Of Chicago

In this follow-up report, CBS 2’s Pam Zekman and a health expert hit some of the food booths at this year’s event.


(credit: Steve Hardy/CBS Local)

2 Investigators: Some Taste Of Chicago Vendors Violated Health Standards

CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman looked into the health inspection records of the restaurants featured at next week’s massive event and found that some have failed up to three health inspections in the past two years.


Pam Zekman confronts a former CPS teacher accused of having inappropriate contact with a student. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Predatory Teachers Slip Through The Cracks

CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports offenders may lose their city job but still keep their state teaching license because of a regulatory breakdown.


Hail 3

Scam Artists Follow Hail Storms, Authorities Warn

The key here is for homeowners not to let contractors take advantage of them at a time when they may be vulnerable. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.



2 Investigators: County Spends $2 Million On Paid-Parking System, Then Rips It Up

It may have been a well-intended idea: charging workers and visitors to park in lots at six suburban courthouses. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.


Tanker rail cars (CBS)

2 Investigators: Will Disaster Strike Before Rail-Car Upgrades?

The Chicagoland area is the No. 1 corridor in the nation for the transport of hazardous materials like crude oil, ethanol and other flammable chemicals. And that leaves a lot of people worrying about the worst-case scenario, CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.