Jim Heaney

Jim Heaney is editor and executive director of Investigative Post. He was an investigative reporter with The Buffalo News from 1986 to 2011 and a reporter and editor with The Orlando Sentinel from 1980-86. His coverage over the years has focused on economic development, local and state government, politics, education, housing and transportation, and he was an early practitioner of computer-assisted reporting. Heaney has won more than 20 journalism awards and was a finalist for the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

Nov 28

2022

Monday Morning Read

The felony convictions of Louis Ciminelli and Alain Kaloyeros will be reconsidered by the Supreme Court this week, as reported yesterday by Jerry Zremski of The Buffalo News. Their lawyers will argue that prosecutors went too far in their application of federal fraud and bribery statutes.  Regardless of the technical merits, this much is clear: Ciminelli’s company, in league with Kaloyeros, played dirty in the drafting of bid specifications to develop Tesla’s solar panel manufacturing plant in South Buffalo. As I reported in 2014, the original bid documents required bidders to have been in the development business in Buffalo for[...]

Posted 2 days ago

Nov 25

2022

Investigative Post’s groundbreaking police coverage

Geoff Kelly wrote a couple of blockbuster stories for us over the past week involving allegations of racism in the Buffalo Police Department. One was based on depositions given by retired police commanders in which they acknowledged use of the N-word by officers and a failure to properly train, supervise and discipline cops working on special street units. The other story was based on a federal lawsuit in which officers accuse their captain of making racially derogatory remarks about Black officers and justifying racist attitudes among whites. These revelations were shocking, to be sure. But given Investigative Post’s reporting on[...]

Posted 5 days ago

Nov 21

2022

Monday Morning Read

WeeklyPost is a free newsletter emailed first thing Sunday morning. It includes summaries of our reporting the previous week and Jim Heaney’s recommended reading, which is below. You can subscribe here. There are a lot of reasons for Buffalo’s segregation, a lack of affordable housing in the suburbs chief among them. Lack of affordable housing is also an issue on Long Island and voters earlier this month decided to do something about it: impose a surcharge on the sale of high-priced homes. Reported New York Focus: The tax, which is likely to take effect next spring in the towns of East Hampton,[...]

Posted 1 week ago

Nov 15

2022

Disturbing police testimony demands action

The toxic culture that permeates the Buffalo Police Department is now in the open. The use of the N word by cops. A lack of training to stop police from doing the wrong thing, and lack of accountability when they do. The allegations aren’t being leveled by department critics. Rather, they’ve been described, under oath, by police themselves, including those in supervisory positions. Shocking? Yes. Surprising? No. Investigative Post has been reporting on problems within the department since 2016. A lack of proper training. A failure to investigative citizen complaints against officers. The unconstitutional practices of special street crime units.[...]

Posted 2 weeks ago

Nov 13

2022

Monday Morning Read

Get Jim Heaney’s recommended reading Sunday mornings by subscribing here. The national political press once more dropped the ball this election season. Too much focus on the horse race, not enough on the issues. I mostly stopped reading the converge after Labor Day. This essay in Popular Information, a new website I’ve come across, summed it up nicely: More and more political coverage treats elections like a horse race, even though this approach has repeatedly proven useless. Prediction-based coverage comes at a high cost because it crowds out the coverage that voters actually need. To make an informed decision, voters need[...]

Posted 2 weeks ago

Nov 7

2022

Monday Morning Read

Taxpayers in Nashville are going to fork over more money to build their football team a new stadium than we suckers in New York are going to spend subsidizing Terry Pegula’s stadium in Orchard Park. Did we get a better deal? Hardly. The new stadium for the Tennessee Titans will include a dome and be located within walking distance of downtown’s fabled entertainment district. Oh, and the team owners are depleting much of their family’s fortune to pay for their portion of the venue. Pegula is making no such sacrifice. The beleaguered STAMP industrial park near Batavia has landed a second tenant,[...]

Posted 3 weeks ago

Oct 31

2022

Monday Morning Read

ProPublica produced two stories on the former OxyChem plant in Niagara Falls that exposed workers and residents to asbestos – with dire health consequences. Our partners at WGRZ interviewed one of the ProPublica reporters who produced the stories. Hang onto your wallets, Sabres fans, the Pegulas have retained the sports consulting firm owned by Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and the SteinbreNners/New York Yankees to advise the team. For right now, it only involves advertising on jerseys, but you know it won’t stop there. The Cowboys and Yankees aren’t any good at winning championships anymore, but they have mastered the art of jacking up prices for fans.[...]

Posted 1 month ago

Oct 24

2022

Monday Morning Read

WeeklyPost recaps Investigative Post’s reporting of the previous week, along with recommended reading of other news accounts. It’s free and delivered Sunday mornings to subscribers via email. Subscribe here. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is throwing oodles of money at the Erie County Sheriff’s Department to hire a slew of new employees. Let’s hope John Garcia does a better job screening job candidates than Tim Howard did, as evidenced by this fine reporting job by Charlie Specht. Long story short, Howard hired a bad apple from the Buffalo police force, who later underscored his unfitness for the job by confronting[...]

Posted 1 month ago