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.
A Chicago man onboard a spirit airlines flight from Las Vegas to Chicago this past Monday died and 2 investigator Pam Zekman has learned there are questions about emergency training for staff and medical equipment on board that plane.
Fifty-three accidents occurred there between 2004 and 2011. The wrecks left 24 people injured and one dead, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports.
It’s not illegal, but it’s a bad bet, the BGA says. 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports.
At least 50 mayors who double as liquor commissioners have taken campaign contributions totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the same bars they watch over. CBS 2′s Pam Zekman reports.
On-duty, they are police officers who took an oath to enforce the law. Off-duty, they formed a motorcycle club that looks like it supports outlaw biker gangs.
There’s a new trend called “revenge porn” that’s leaving lots of people red-faced and feeling violated. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
2 Investigator Pam Zekman tagged along with a city investigator to see how Chicagoans can get ripped off from tax preparers.
Some Chicago police officers accused of misconduct have been stripped of their powers and placed on paid desk duty. CBS 2′s Pam Zekman reports.
One Chicago officer isn’t applying handicapped-parking laws correctly when ticketing able-bodied drivers who are shuttling patients to the hospital. CBS 2′s Pam Zekman reports.
One of dozens of alternative energy suppliers now fiercely competing for your business is a company with a bad track record the CBS 2 Investigators have been reporting on for years.
CBS 2 and the Better Government Association first disclosed how Chicago Public School employees were gaming the $175 million program meant for poor children.
They wanted to start a small business or expand one, then they lost thousands of dollars to a Chicago company they paid to help them.
In today’s busy world, more and more singles are turning to online dating and matchmaking services to find that special someone. But, as CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman found out, some singles have said they’re getting ripped off by one locally based matchmaker.
CTA fares are going up so that desperately needed infrastructure improvements can be paid for; all while the final fixes are underway to correct costly mistakes made on the CTA’s $580 million Brown Line reconstruction project.
The student said two security guards, a Chicago police officer and a female assistant principal took him from an room where he was serving an “in school suspension” to a nearby washroom on the second floor, where they conducted a strip search.
A woman who drives her husband to dialysis treatments received a ticket when she walked back to her car alone. But she did nothing wrong, advocates for the disabled say. CBS 2′s Pam Zekman reports.
Imagine paying $10,000 a month for skilled nursing home care for your loved one only to have the unthinkable happen. CBS 2′s Pam Zekman reports.
A 10th Chicago police officer has been indicted in the FBI’s ongoing investigation of a scheme in which tow truck operators were paying bribes to cops who steered them work.
As CBS’s Pam Zekman learned, some of the violations can make your children sick.
A certain kind of pop-up hamper, framed with springy wire, can be hazardous to children, CBS 2′s Pam Zekman reports.