Investigations

Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney

GreenPost

Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary

Dec
15

Sliver of companies got half of pandemic aid

A lot of businesses received forgivable loans from the federal government to help them through the pandemic. To be exact, 18,768 in the eight counties of Western New York. The loans were worth $2.2 billion, altogether. But a fraction of the companies — some 5 percent — received about half that sum.  Two businesses got […]

Dec
14

Doctors and lawyers cash in on pandemic aid

The final numbers are in: the federal government poured more than $2 billion into the local economy this spring and summer in an effort to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. About 19,850 for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations in the region’s eight counties received $2.4 billion in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. […]

Dec
03

City Hall spending on police has skyrocketed

The Buffalo Police Department’s budget has grown at three times the pace of other city services since Mayor Byron Brown took office in 2006, an increase fueled largely by the cost of health insurance and pension payments for current and retired cops. The city spends 54 percent more on police than it did 15 years […]

Nov
02

Problem cop still on Buffalo police force

There is exactly one Buffalo cop whose past conduct has so damaged his credibility that the Erie County District Attorney’s office refuses to put him on the witness stand. His name is Joseph R. Hassett.  In an April 2019 letter to Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood, DA John Flynn wrote that Hassett, 34, suffered from […]

Jul
07

Suspended cop has been disciplined a lot

 Updated: 1:55 p.m. The Buffalo police lieutenant suspended last week for his vile insult of a woman filming him has previously been suspended four times during his career and been the subject of 36 misconduct complaints lodged by citizens or the department. Twelve involve inappropriate use of force; three have involved domestic incidents.  Investigative […]

Jun
11

Buffalo’s police watchdogs are toothless

The City of Buffalo has three separate police oversight boards, but they’ve done little, if anything, to bring bad cops to heel.  One can’t. It’s an advisory panel with no power beyond its voice.  One won’t. It’s a subcommittee of the Common Council that seldom meets and does not investigate police misconduct.  And the third, […]

Jun
09

School contract was failure waiting to happen

To hear senior staff tell it, the Buffalo school district never should have gone through with a contract awarded to HarpData to provide wi-fi service to students in two low-income neighborhoods. The firm’s finances were suspect, according to the district’s purchasing director, and the district’s unusual decision to waive a performance bond put the school […]

Jun
05

Scant proof of “outside agitators”

Politicians and police have been raising the spectre of “outside agitators” since the day protests began in Buffalo. For the most part, local media has amplified the message: Outsiders are slipping into town to incite violence and destruction.  But arrest records suggest that narrative is not true. And officials allow that much of the intelligence […]