Dave Savini

savini Dave SaviniAward-winning Chicago journalist Dave Savini serves as investigative reporter for CBS 2 Chicago.

Savini, whose exclusive investigations have earned him broadcast journalism’s top honors, began work at CBS 2 Chicago in July 2004. He was awarded broadcast journalism’s most coveted national award, a 2008 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for his investigation exposing gaping holes in security at O’Hare International Airport. The duPont Award is broadcast’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize which is also decided by a panel of judges at Columbia University in New York.

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Savini’s investigations have uncovered corruption in several police departments, exposed medical negligence, government waste, fraudulent charities and child exploitation. His reports have resulted in legal reforms and policy changes within government agencies, local corporations and have prompted new laws.

Savini won the 2006 Emmy for Best Hard News Series “Blindsided.” The investigation revealed how metal based road reflectors were breaking loose from roads, crashing through windshields and severely injuring motorists. The expose led to the immediate removal of broken or loose reflectors in DuPage County. Savini also broke the national story involving secret sexual harassment settlements involving William Kennedy Smith and his role with a Chicago based charity.

Savini has won the Associated Press award for Best Reporter five times and has been honored for excellence throughout his investigative reporting career. His many awards include: twenty-nine Associated Press Awards; 14 local Emmy Awards, including four for Individual Excellence; twelve Peter Lisagor Awards; two Herman Kogan Awards from the Chicago Bar Association; a national Clarion Award; twelve regional RTNDA awards and the national Edward R. Murrow Award.

He received the 2014 Emmy for Outstanding Achievement For Reporter along with 2014 Outstanding Investigative Report for his story on Metra’s dirty air aboard trains departing Union Station.

Savini and long-time producer Michele Youngerman were honored in 2006 by the Chicago Bar Association for their series “Good Gifts Gone Bad.” The yearlong probe led to a new law after they revealed how millions of dollars worth of donated cars, clothes and toys meant for charity were actually being ripped off by felons and unlicensed middlemen. Savini and Youngerman also received the 2005 Associated Press Newspaper Award for Investigative Reporting about the scam that ran in the Naperville Sun, CBS 2 Chicago’s media partner. Their on-going series “Fly at Your Own Risk” exposed nearly 4,000 missing employee access badges at O’Hare International Airport– the largest security breach of its kind. The series led to sweeping arrests, federal investigations and a Chicago Inspector General probe into the Chicago Department of Aviation’s handling of these badges. The series was honored with a 2007 Silver Dome Award, 2008 regional RTNDA Murrow award and the 2008 Alfred I. duPont Award.

Before joining CBS 2 Chicago, Savini worked at WMAQ-TV in Chicago as an investigative reporter (1993-2004). His series “Selling Innocence” led to the arrest and conviction of a child sex-offender who was running a child modeling website. Savini was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show after he showed how the website was merely a front for a child porn operation. The series won a national Clarion award and was an Alfred I. duPont Award Finalist.

Savini exposed local 911 operators who were asleep on the job; uncovered faulty background checks of CTA workers; and revealed how children were being locked in dangerous time-out rooms in some Illinois schools. Savini’s investigation of “The Ford Heights Four” revealed four wrongfully imprisoned men who were sentenced to death. This report made national headlines, led to new DNA tests and ultimately led to their freedom.

Prior to working at WMAQ, Savini worked at WROC-TV in Rochester, New York as an anchor and investigative reporter. Before that, he was the Raleigh bureau chief at WNCT-TV in Greenville, North Carolina (1990-92). He began his career as a weekend anchor and investigative reporter at WHIZ-TV in Zanesville, Ohio. Savini’s fascination with broadcast journalism and investigative reporting began when he worked as an intern in WMAQ’s investigative unit in 1987. In addition to his broadcasting duties, Savini has written for several area newspapers including the Naperville Sun and the Aurora Beacon News.

Savini, who is an avid chef and triathlete, was born and raised in Chicago and is a 1985 graduate of Weber High School. He went on to earn a B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton in 1989.

2 Investigators: Rusted Light Poles ‘Very Worrisome’

A corroded pole fell on top of Lauren Lammy’s automobile. Could people be the next victims? CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Cubs Fan Blind In One Eye After Foul Ball Accident

Jay Loos says a lack of complete protective netting at Wrigley Field and other major-league ballparks puts fans in danger.


2 Investigators: Disabled Vets Face Tough Parking At VA Hospital

That’s because able-bodied motorists are taking up handicapped spaces. CBS 2’s Dave Savini investigates.


2 Investigators: Red Light Ripoff

How does an Illinois motorist get somebody else’s red light ticket and have to pay it? CBS 2’s Dave Savini sorts it out.


2 Investigators: Officer Who Arrested Sandra Bland Speaks

Trooper Brian Encinia was questioned three months after the stop by the Texas Public Safety Inspector General’s Office.


2 Investigators: More Unexplained Spikes In ComEd Bills

It goes like this: Some customers see incredible spikes in their power bills; ComEd inspects their electric meter; the spikes disappear, with ComEd saying there was nothing wrong. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


Bus Shelter Accident Victim: ‘Everything Went Numb’

In 2015, Tierney Darden’s spinal cord was crushed when a 700-pound shelter fell on her. A jury is determining how much the city must pay her.


2 Investigators: Tollway, Railroad Create Flood Repeats For Home Owner

When heavy rain is in the forecast, Joe Russo of Willow Springs is in a battle against the clock.


2 Investigators: Lyons Man Forced To Become Rat Trapper

Joe Melone of Lyons has been using heavy-duty cage traps and pizza to snare the well-fed, destructive rats. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Mysterious Power Bill Spikes

Imagine seeing your personal electric bills go from $50 a month to well over $200, but you’re using the same amount of power. It’s happened to some Chicagoans.


Shooter Disappeared From Illinois After Erratic Behavior

James Hodgkinson appears to have had a legal firearms owners identification (FOID) card, despite  numerous misdemeanor cases such as a 2006 domestic battery that included the aggravated discharge of a firearm.  CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Cops Stockpiled Luxury Equipment

The feds said the village of Willow Springs misspent drug-asset forfeiture money. The new mayor agrees. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Samsung Microwave Catches Fire

That happened to one Chicago area family. Is there a wider problem with this model? CBS 2’s Dave Savini investigates.


2 Investigators: Alderman Threatens To Ruin Landlord’s Business

First Ward Ald. Proco Joe Moreno can be seen threatening to keep the building closed for years. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Fake Check Scam Gets More Outrageous

The new feature here: Someone actually comes to your door! CBS 2’s Dave Savini talks with a couple who were targeted.


2 Investigators: Taxpayers On Hook When Cops Moonlight As Security Guards

There is little oversight of cops’ second jobs — and that can lead to expensive investigations and lawsuits. 2 Investigator Dave Savini teams up with The Chicago Reporter.


2 Investigators: O’Hare Shelters Removed, After Paralyzing Accident

The pedestrian shelters that fell on Tierney Darden at O’Hare Airport were removed as a result of CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini’s reports.


2 Investigators: Play Center More Like A Danger Zone, Injured Boy’s Mom Says

Michael Galasso was four when he shattered his elbow and arm on a 22-foot-high inflatable fire truck slide. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Disability System Waits Out Terminally Ill Applicants

Time sometimes runs out before people can collect their “Compassionate Allowance” from the Social Security Administration. CBS 2’s Dave Savini talks with a cancer patient.


Beware Of Storm-Chasing Contractors, Officials Say

Contractors are already swooping in after Tuesday’s treacherous weather that included tornadoes and baseball-sized hail.


2 Investigators: Mistakes, Delays At Dialysis Centers Caused Deaths Of 2 Women, Families Say

The patients would both be alive today if the centers had called ambulances when they were needed. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Man Pays $12,000 Into Bank Accounts After Bogus IRS Demand

It’s a variation on the old IRS scam, deploying convincing details. CBS 2’s Dave Savini talks with the victim.


Hang Up If A Stranger Asks, ‘Can You Hear Me?’

Someone may be trying to record your voice to steal money. 2 Investigator Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Family Struggles To Pick Up Pieces After Tornado

A family devastated by a tornado turned to their homeowners insurance company, and when that failed, they called the CBS 2 Investigators.


Woman’s Water Service Restored After 2 Investigators Inquire About HUD-Assisted Rental

No water for cooking, doing dishes, showering — or even to use the toilet. This south suburban family turned to CBS 2’s Dave Savini for help.


2 Investigators: Chicago ‘Pedway’ Fraught With Obstacles For The Disabled

The Pedway, built with tax dollars and private money in 1989, is supposed to help pedestrians stay warm and dry while commuting through the city’s central business district.


2 Investigators: Off-Duty Chicago Cop Beats Restaurant Patron

Khaled Shaar joined the force in 1999. Chicago Police Department records show 23 complaints — five for excessive force and three for domestic violence. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Synthetic Opiate Brings Death Through The Mail

It is a drug so dangerous, it has never been approved, but anyone can buy it easily online.


2 Investigators: Mail-Order Meat Company Stiffs Customers

It seemed like a good idea: Buy a whole or half pig or cow and have it prepared and shipped to your home. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


2 Investigators: Denver ‘Boot Bandit’ Shakes Down Motorists

But the day of reckoning may be near for James Chard. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.