The University of Oregon says its policy is not to notify coaches if their student-athletes are accused of sexual assault, so as not to risk "tainting investigations." But Dana Altman's phone records, which I obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show he was enmeshed in Kavell Bigby-Williams' rape case from the beginning. This is a follow-up to my investigative story in Sports Illustrated.
After breaking the news in the student newspaper that an Oregon basketball player played the entire season, including the Final Four, I dug into the university's handling the of allegation. My ensuing investigation for Sports Illustrated revealed UO officials violated their obligations and under the law and acted at odds with the school's own policies for responding to sexual misconduct. This story prompted U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to write UO President Michael Schill a letter demanding more information about the school's handling of the allegation.
The University of Oregon athletic department provides its employees free cars to drive for personal use. The program, in theory, should be free, because the cars are provided by local auto dealerships as gift-in-kind. But according to my analysis, the department promises employees far more cars than it actually has, so the majority of employees — including the athletic director himself — collect lucrative monthly stipends in lieu of actual cars.
NBC 7 Investigates - KNSD
After writing a computer program to scrape the San Diego County restaurant inspection database, I found thousands of restaurants 'A' letter grades on routine inspections, despite inspectors finding up 10 violations, including those that pose imminent health hazards. The health department said this was a good thing, but experts disagreed, and an analysis of other jurisdiction's grading systems showed it was far easier to achieve an 'A' in San Diego than elsewhere.
NBC 7 Investigates - KNSD
I wrote a computer program to scrape the advertising platforms Weedmaps and Leafly and found hundreds of marijuana delivery services operating illegally in San Diego County. While many of those businesses are working to become licensed, San Diego police have begun cracking down on them, saying they present problems for law enforcement and a danger to the public.
I analyzed San Diego police calls for service data and found police in 2017 are performing increased numbers of "homeland security checks" — or proactive measures to provide increased security for particular places and people — particularly at the Islamic Center, Jewish Community Center and Muslim Community Center. A San Diego police spokesman says the locations they perform checks "just depends on what’s happening in the world today.”
Kavell Bigby-Williams, a 6-foot-11 transfer power forward, played the entire season for Oregon, including the Final Four, while under criminal investigation for the alleged sexual assault of a female student at Gillette College in Wyoming. According to UO, athletic director Rob Mullens, head coach Dana Altman and other athletic department staffers knew police were looking into the player but did not know or ask why. This is the breaking news story I wrote that preceded my investigative reporting in Sports Illustrated.
In this story with Sarah Alvarez, I wrote computer programs to scrape court records the 36th District Court of Michigan website and exposed a controversial "pay-or-stay" system in Detroit. According to the data, in two months alone, taxpayers paid to jail 256 residents who didn't pay traffic tickets. They were jailed an average of four days, costing taxpayers $600 apiece, though in most cases their fines totaled half that amount.
My analysis of defendant's address field in thousands of Eugene Municipal Court records found the homeless in Eugene received roughly 35 percent of all tickets for minor crimes in 2016, despite accounting for no more than 2 percent of the population. The records show police repeatedly ticketed numerous homeless individuals for trespassing, illegal camping, disorderly conduct and violating park rules.
Media pick-ups: Willamette Week
My analysis of a database of more than 100,000 elder abuse complaints found the average fine for a substantiated cases was only $98, making it less expensive for long-term care facilities to break the rules than provide proper care. The analysis revealed flaws in a penalty structure that had been rarely updated since 1977 — until after this story, by Kelly Kenoyer and I, was released.
2016 IRE Award winner for student investigative reporting at a small school
My investigation for the student newspaper revealed the star of the Oregon football team instigated two fights with teammates in the locker room — one of whom he concussed with a punch to the head — and had been investigated for strangling his girlfriend. Neither the school, team nor law enforcement took any disciplinary action against him, instead reprimanding the victims. After the athletic department threatened to revoke my game credentials during my reporting, UO President Michael Schill asked UO's general counsel to investigate the athletic department for violating the school's free speech policies.