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.
Bills to cap property taxes have been opposed by lobbyists paid with your tax dollars. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman explains.
Other cities have programs that help owners replace the dangerous material. Not Chicago. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
Ninety-two-year-old Aloysius Mack, who has dementia, was a victim of a form of elder abuse. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
Some college grads are falling prey to offers to have their loans consolidated or their payments reduced. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
$400,000 in salary and benefits! That’s what the Calumet City School Superintendent earns even though the district struggles financially.
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.
Amateur poll watchers be warned. City and county election authorities will not tolerate illegal behavior. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
The judge’s claims she was injured during an altercation did not bear out in court. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
Allegations of misconduct against former Chicago detective Reynaldo Guevara have already cost taxpayers $21 million. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
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.
Authorities say victims in the U.S. have lost a combined $300 million in this type of scam. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
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.
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.
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.