Scripps News Washington Bureau

The Scripps News Washington Bureau is a leading investigative storyteller on all the Scripps-owned media platforms. The bureau also operates DecodeDC, a podcast and narrative reporting tool aimed at smart, curious people of all ages who want political coverage that is rooted in D.C. but is not of D.C. The bureau’s team also produces content for broadcast television.

The Scripps Washington Bureau opened in 1917. From the beginning, its mission was to provide Americans with enterprise journalism about Washington. Among its famous alumni is roving World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle.

The bureau is run by Ellen Weiss, vice president and bureau chief. Reach the bureau at 202-408-1484.

911 - State of Emergency

In a three-month investigation, Scripps News found the nation's 911 system is old and vulnerable to hacking. The system, when not working properly, puts lives at risk. Scripps News also discovered that very little of the 911 taxes collected by states on every phone bill actually goes toward fixing the problem.

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Gaming the scholarship gift

With a school choice scholarship program, wealthy donors can potentially “profit” from their contributions through extensive tax benefits that can drain money from state treasuries which fund public services — including public schools. A Scripps survey of states found that from 2012 to 2016 at least $2.5 billion in tax credits were granted through the various state scholarship tax credit programs.

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Prepaid card protections at risk

/controversy-over-prepaid-card-protections

Major consumer protections slated to take effect in the spring of 2018 for users of prepaid credit cards would go away if a push succeeds to have Congress kill the safeguards before a deadline in June 2017. Scripps News has discovered the president-elect of the largest trade group vying to block the protections has a troubled history with another company in deceiving consumers.

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Your prescriptions aren't private

Scripps News found during a five-month investigation that law enforcement tapped into at least 344,921 prescription histories of Americans between 2014-2015 in the states that don’t require a warrant or another form of court authorization. That is more than six times the number of searches that took place by law enforcement in states that have more privacy safeguards enacted. It is access without oversight that leaves the door open for abuses.

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Expert: Refugee ban wouldn't have saved lives

President Donald Trump says the intent of his executive order halting refugee resettlement is to stop terrorists from entering the country, but an authority on terrorism concludes not one life would have been saved had the order been in place in the 15 years since the Sept. 11 attacks.

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Delay in mental health services

A Scripps News investigation reveals that psychiatric boarding doesn’t discriminate by families’ race, income or whether they are insured, and there are no geographic exceptions. It’s a nationwide problem. The overtaxed, fragmented mental health system is especially short on beds, staffing and outpatient treatment for young mentally ill patients. It often results in the sickest children waiting hours, days or even weeks before they are admitted to a facility.

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Trump's private foundation under scrutiny

In an exclusive investigation by Scripps News, tax experts say Donald Trump's private foundation violates IRS rules. In question is the act of one private foundation giving donations to another private foundation - a violation of IRS rules if not properly documented. But it's a practice that happened numerous times in the past decade for the Trump foundation.

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Clinton charities exclusive investigation

In an exclusive 3-month investigation, the Scripps Washington Bureau uncovered how the Clinton charities ignored New York law requiring public disclosure of donations from foreign governments. The investigation also delved into the question if those foreign governments had special access to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.

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Right to Remain Silent

A Scripps News investigation found that 19 of the 50 largest police forces in the United States grant officers involved in shootings some kind of waiting period, either for an internal probe looking into whether an officer followed policy or a criminal investigation. When video evidence in a police-action shooting in Dallas contradicts a police officer's recollection of events, the police chief instituted a new policy that many critics describe as self-serving.

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Dereliction of Duty

A collaborative investigation between the Scripps News Washington Bureau and WCPO.com uncovered a state of disorder at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati. Nearly three dozen whistleblowers, including doctors, came forward to share urgent concerns about the quality of care at the facility, which serves more than 40,000 area veterans. A series of stories sparked immediate changes in personnel and a thorough review at the federal level.

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Keyless Ignition Investigation

A Scripps News investigation reveals deaths linked to keyless ignition vehicles continue, four years after federal regulators declared a “clear safety problem.” The problem: Drivers of keyless cars can remove the key fob, but inadvertently leave the car running and emitting carbon monoxide without the fob present. The feds say a fix would have “minimal” financial costs but the auto industry has repeatedly delayed action.

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Under the Radar

In a Peabody Award-winning investigation the Scripps Washington Bureau conducted an exhaustive, unprecedented review of more than 1,300 military court martial cases and discovered at least 242 convicted military rapists, child molesters, and other sex offenders had fallen under the radar and slipped through what a member of the House Armed Services Committee calls a “gaping loophole” in the system.

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Eyes Wide Shut

A Scripps News investigation has discovered an alarming number of consumers, businesses and other entities nationwide that unknowingly leave back doors wide open to their online video feeds and computer networks. Simple tools available to everyone are making those live video feeds easily accessible putting the privacy of many innocent victims at risk. If you think a password protects you, you may have your eyes wide shut.

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Veterans in Crisis

Several complaints about the national Veterans Crisis Line prompted the Coalition of Veterans Organizations to describe it as “seriously deficient” in a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2014.
The Scripps Washington Bureau investigated numerous examples of veterans who called for help, but instead got voicemail or no answer.

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About the Bureau

The Bureau is a leader in national investigative reporting across all platforms. The broadcast team provides coverage for all Scripps stations across the country. The Bureau also produces DecodeDC, a podcast and website aimed at making sense of Washington's politics, culture, people and policies.