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.
There have been a string of fatal truck accidents in the Chicago area caused by drivers who were charged with falsifying their driving logs and were apparently too tired to drive safely.
Federal rules limit truckers from driving more than 11 of the 14 consecutive hours they work. They have to take a ten hour break before driving again.
CBS 2’s Pam Zekman helps Cook County authorities set up some fake-ticket makers.
There’s a huge backlog of thousands of requests for city trees to be trimmed or removed–often because residents believe they are damaged or dead and could be dangerous.
A Chicago Police officer was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for insurance fraud by staging an accident and soliciting payoffs from a towing company in exchange for steering it accident business.
Your home is damaged by a bad storm. After the storm contractors may show up at your door soliciting you to sign up with them to fix the damage. But watch out for some of the tricks of the trade homeowners have learned the hard way.
The man hired to police aldermen says a legal loophole is frustrating his ability to do his job. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
It took two years for the Assessor Joseph Berrios to get new laws he needed for this action — an effort that began after a 2 Investigators report in 2011 on one of the biggest violators. CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports.
Kenneth Dunn, was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash, unsafe equipment and spilling a load of paper across the highway.
Most people would agree that a child’s education is priceless, but how much is too much to pay school superintendents?
As 2 Investigator Pam Zekman found out, you need to be careful before you sign on with a company to replace your area utility.
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.
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.
It’s a billion dollar a year business. Millions of men are taking testosterone drugs many to help increase energy, libido and muscle mass.
Following a 2 Investigators and Better Government Association report about a shortage of ambulances, big changes are coming.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.