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.

Electric Meter (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

2 Investigators: Alternative Power Suppliers May Not Be Cheaper

As 2 Investigator Pam Zekman found out, you need to be careful before you sign on with a company to replace your area utility.

05/09/2014

the-2-investigators

2 Investigators: Some Trucking Firms On Federal Watch List For Safety Violations

The issue is fatigued driving: truckers who violate federal regulations that limit the hours they can stay on the road without a break. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

05/08/2014

Cartons of mail ready to be sorted sit on a shelf at the U.S. Post Office sort center. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

2 Investigators: Complaints Growing Over Undelivered Mail

Regular mail delivery is taken for granted by most people, but now there’s been a growing chorus of complaints from residential neighborhoods across the city to businesses in the Loop.

05/07/2014

Edward Downes  says he suffered a stroke after taking Androgel. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Low-T Drugs Could Have Dangerous Side Effects

It’s a billion dollar a year business. Millions of men are taking testosterone drugs many to help increase energy, libido and muscle mass.

04/29/2014

A Chicago ambulance (CBS)

2 Investigators: Union Agreement Calls For More Ambulances, Paramedics

Following a 2 Investigators and Better Government Association report about a shortage of ambulances, big changes are coming.

04/09/2014

Carol Ellis. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Woman Mistakenly Declared Dead Instead Of Daughter

Every month, as many as 800 people are incorrectly listed as deceased by the Social Security Administration. It’s a problem the 2-Investigators first highlighted earlier this year and now Pam Zekman finds other victims of this bureaucratic mistake, who were devastated by the aftermath of the gaffe.

04/02/2014

A Chicago ambulance (CBS)

Aldermen Call For Investigation Into Apparent Ambulance Shortage

A CBS 2 and Better Government Association investigation is getting results as alderman are calling for an investigation and hearings into potentially life threatening ambulance shortages in the city of Chicago.

04/02/2014

A Chicago ambulance (CBS)

2 Investigators, BGA: Ambulance Response Times Getting Worse As Memo Aims To Quiet Dispatchers

The CBS 2 Investigators and the Better Government Association have been warning about an apparent shortage of Chicago ambulances and paramedics. The result, dangerous delays for patients needing emergency care.

03/25/2014

Parking Ticket

2 Investigators: City Residents Complain Faulty Pictures Not Proof Of Parking Violations

It’s the newest thing: You get a notice of a parking ticket in the mail, along with so-called evidence that the violation occurred. But, viewers have complained to the CBS 2 Investigators that the photographic proof taken by city workers may prove nothing at all. Pam Zekman tells us what’s going on here.

03/04/2014

Marie Rose Demkowicz (courtesy: family)

2 Investigators: Assisted-Living Facility Neglected Resident, Suit Says

CBS 2’s Pam Zekman finds that some assisted living facilities do not give residents the help they need and have violated state regulations requiring them to have sufficient staff.

02/24/2014

A small drone hovers in the sky, (Credit: Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images)

2 Investigators: Domestic Drones Raise Safety, Privacy Concerns

CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports drones are a big question for the FAA, the state and even the Chicago City Council. One alderman is predicting chaos in the skies if the use of drones is not regulated,

02/19/2014

Erick Maya (Romeoville Police Dept.)

2 Investigators: Romeoville Shooting Victim Previously Filed Order Of Protection

The CBS 2 investigators found Briana’s mother obtained protection orders in cook and will counties to try and stop Maya from harassing and threatening her.

02/18/2014

A Chicago ambulance (CBS)

2 Investigators, BGA: Does Chicago Have An Ambulance Shortage?

CBS 2’s Pam Zekman and the Better Government Association investigate claims by some paramedics that response time is too slow.

02/06/2014

Uniformed Chicago police officers were spotted taking lunch breaks at Bourbon Street in Merrionnette Park, even though department rules say lunch breaks should be taken within their district. Other plain clothes officers also were seen there for nearly two hours, although lunch breaks are limited to 30 to 60 minutes. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Cops Assigned To High-Crime Area Watch Bears Game — For Nearly Two Hours

On Dec. 29, a group of on-duty plainclothes officers lingered at a Merrionette Park restaurant. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

01/13/2014

Laurie Villareal's tax refund was rejected by the IRS when her daughter, Jasmine, was mistakenly listed as dead by the Social Security Administration. Laurie had declared Jasmine as a dependent on her tax return. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Woman Has To Prove Her Healthy Daughter Isn’t Dead To Claim Tax Refund

CBS 2’s Pam Zekman talks with people about the complications their lives take on when they’re listed as no longer living.

01/09/2014

Debit cards (CBS)

Man Charged In Connection With Debit Card Scam

A central figure in a debit card scam first exposed by the CBS 2 Investigators now faces federal charges.

11/27/2013

Westfield Mall. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Is Your Mall Safe?

It’s a time for giving, but sadly it can also be a time for taking by criminals such as pickpockets, shoplifters, car thieves and muggers.

11/26/2013

Water faucet (CBS)

2 Investigators: New Study Casts Doubt On Lead Testing In Tap Water

The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection found the testing methods it requires water utilities to use nationwide systematically misses high lead levels. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.

11/14/2013

Fake service dog credentials purchased over the internet. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Fake Service Dog Credentials Easily Available Online

You see them from time to time on buses, trains, restaurants and even airplanes: Service dogs, who appear to be assisting their disabled owners. But, a disturbing new trend is raising questions about which dogs really deserve to have special access.

11/12/2013

Some Campbell's soups get an endorsement from the American Heart Association, even though they have 410 mg of salt per serving. (CBS)

Suit: Campbell’s, Heart Organization Misled Consumers Over Salt Content In Soup

CBS 2’s Pam Zekman looks at the salt content of a common brand of soup, which gets the endorsement of the American Heart Association.

11/01/2013

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