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.

(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

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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

Chicago Police Officer Allyson Bogdalek on dashcam video. (Chicago Police Department)

City Moves To Fire Two Chicago Cops In Case Tainted By One Officer’s Perjury

CBS 2’s Pam Zekman has this follow-up to a 2 Investigators, Better Government Association report.

05/26/2016

A graphic chart shows the increase in shootings on Chicago interstates in recent years. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Gang Shootings Spill Onto Chicago Expressways

What’s driving the frightening rise in interstate shootings? CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

05/20/2016

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Backers Of Crowdfunded Cooler Left Out In Cold

Pam Zekman reports when a crowdfunding site is involved, it’s a classic case of buyer beware.

05/11/2016

The Ahrens family paid $1,500 in hopes of leveraging a larger grant. But the grant didn't exist. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Couple Pays $1,500 In Hopes Of Tapping $75,000 ‘Grant’

You know where this is going: There was no grant. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

05/06/2016

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Hackers Using ‘Ransomware’ To Hold Computers Hostage

The 2 Investigators reveal it’s almost impossible to stop these modern-day cyber-pirates.

05/03/2016

(CBS)

2 Investigators: Beware Puppy Sales Over The Internet

If you don’t see the dog with your own eyes, in person, it may not exist. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

05/02/2016

Calumet City school official Troy Paraday encounters CBS 2's Pam Zekman. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Highest Paid Illinois School Supt. Gets $400K To Oversee 1,200 students

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.

04/29/2016

(CBS)

2 Investigators: Cook County Police Accused Of Demanding Guns For Detainee

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.

03/28/2016

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators/BGA: Cook County Retailers Rack Up Fines But Keep Selling Bootleg Cigarettes

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.

03/08/2016

(Credit: Chicago Police)

2 Investigators: Police Interview Former Student Of Ex-CPS Teacher Charged With Sexual Assault

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.

03/08/2016

Water tap (CBS)

2 Investigators: Does Chicago Tap Water Have A Lead Problem?

Federal officials say testing standards are about to be strengthened. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

02/18/2016

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Pharmacy Workers Selling Prescription Drugs On The Street

More than 40 people a day die from prescription drug overdoses and now officials say a growing source of the drugs they abuse are pharmacy workers who have access to all kinds of drugs.

02/17/2016

(Credit: CBS)

2 investigators: Smokers Get Burned From Exploding E-Cigarettes

2-Investigator Pam Zekman looks into this troubling trend.

02/16/2016

Chicago Public Schools Logo

2 Investigators: How The CPS Pensions Turned Into A Budget Mess

CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman traced the origin of those pensions back to mistakes in negotiations decades ago in this Original Report.

02/14/2016

Pauline Hunt (CBS)

2 Investigators: Con Artists Trick Grandma Into Buying $10,000 In iTunes Cards

A caller told 79-year-old Pauline Hunt her grandson was in jail and needed bail money. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports on a new twist to an old scam.

02/11/2016

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