Categories for In-Depth

Jan 17

2024

Weather for Bills home games: Meh

Published by

 Editor’s note on Jan. 17, 2024: Investigative Post published the following story on Feb. 17, 2022. Given the wintry conditions at Highmark Stadium last Sunday and the likelihood of similar challenges this coming week when the Bills host the Kansas City Chiefs, we’re republishing the story. The last game the Buffalo Bills played at Highmark Stadium a month ago was the coldest in more than two decades. By itself, it could have made a case for putting a dome over the new stadium being discussed for the team. But that frigid day — the low was 4 degrees, with[...]

Posted 6 months ago

Jan 16

2024

Double standard involving OTB board

Published by

For more than a decade, the state Gaming Commission allowed political party leaders — all Republicans or Conservatives — to serve on the board of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. in violation of state law, Investigative Post has found. Then came Jennifer Hibit.  Following major reforms by state lawmakers, County Executive Mark Poloncarz last June appointed the Democratic insider to the OTB board. But late last year, the Gaming Commission gave Hibit a choice: Resign from her leadership position in the Erie County Democratic Committee or leave the OTB board. She left OTB.  Crystal Rodriguez-Dabney, a Democrat appointed by Buffalo[...]

Posted 6 months ago

Jan 11

2024

No follow up to OTB ticket scandal

Published by

In the fall of 2021, state auditors criticized representatives of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. for improperly helping themselves to an estimated $121,000 in tickets for professional sports games, concerts and other shows, as well as thousands of dollars in food and drinks they consumed while taking in the action.   More than two years later, a spokesperson for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli concedes their office doesn’t know whether OTB officials have taken any action on one of the audit’s main recommendations: identify individuals who improperly received tickets and seek reimbursement.  “We were not informed if WROTB sought and received reimbursements,”[...]

Posted 6 months ago

Jan 4

2024

Poor attendance fuels low reading scores

Published by

There’s a reason most younger pupils in Buffalo schools can’t read very well. They aren’t showing up for class. Only 18 percent of all students last school year had what the district considers a satisfactory attendance rate. That is, they miss school less than roughly one day a month. More than three times as many students – 61 percent – missed school at least once every other week, according to Buffalo Public Schools attendance data. The district considers that degree of absenteeism chronic or severe. Educators say absenteeism is taking a toll on the district’s youngest learners, who are struggling[...]

Posted 7 months ago

Dec 20

2023

IDAs look to dish out housing tax breaks

Published by

This story was produced by Investigative Post and New York Focus and based on interviews with 30 lawmakers, officials, advocates, lawyers and developers, as well as a review of data and historical records. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s push for more housing has been interpreted by industrial development agencies as a green light to ramp up controversial tax breaks for developers. The state’s 107 IDAs have never been explicitly authorized to subsidize housing and some lawmakers say that’s for a reason: Housing creates few permanent jobs compared to the industrial and commercial projects the agencies were designed to support. When IDAs do[...]

Posted 7 months ago

Dec 12

2023

City worker in paid leave limbo

Published by

Two years ago, a dispatcher in the city’s water department complained to his supervisors about work conditions at the pumping station on Porter Avenue. His computer didn’t work properly, often compelling him to do the same data-entry work twice, Rashimee Wilson wrote in an email to his bosses, including then Public Works Commissioner Mike Finn.  Worse, he wrote, he wasn’t allowed to leave his post for meal breaks, not even when he was asked to work two eight-hour shifts in a row.  Further, Wilson claimed, the department’s seniority system granted privileges and accommodations to white employees that were denied to[...]

Posted 7 months ago

Nov 29

2023

North Collins supervisor holds out-of-town job

Published by

John Tobia, the supervisor of the Town of North Collins, recently started a new job. In a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. Since October, Tobia has commuted between Boston and his small town of about 1,300, located about 25 miles south of Buffalo. He took the job a month before being re-elected, unopposed, to his third term as supervisor.  As vice president of regional operations for The Norfolk Companies, Tobia’s gone from North Collins anywhere from two to five days per week, he and the town attorney have said. That’s led some to worry that he’s away from the town too[...]

Posted 8 months ago

Nov 26

2023

Punishment not befitting the crime

Published by

In the wee hours last January, prosecutors say, Jones Woods threw a rock through a window at the U.S. Attorney’s office in downtown Buffalo. No one came. Woods left after 15 minutes, authorities say. Police found him later that day at the downtown bus station on Ellicott Street. After being arrested and charged with criminal mischief, he appeared in City Court the next day and was sent on his way. Ten minutes later, he threw another rock through a window at the U.S. Attorney’s office.  “I knew if I came back here, I would go to federal prison,” he told[...]

Posted 8 months ago
Investigative Post

Get our newsletters delivered to your inbox * indicates required

Newsletters *