I always say I have the best job in the world. It is challenging, constantly changes and the rewards are tremendous. There is nothing better than having a positive impact on your community, helping someone or exposing government corruption.
I caught the investigative bug while working on my Master of Science degree at Northwestern University. I went to graduate school thinking I would like to be a feature reporter but after a year my focus turned to investigations. I really enjoy feeling like we are a voice for the community and holding government officials accountable. I would like to think of us as political watchdogs, making sure taxpayers are getting their money's worth.
Our stories have not gone unnoticed. I was recently awarded my 16th Emmy for an undercover investigation into medicare fraud. We were also honored with a Dallas Bar Association Philbin Award for a story on housing title theft. That story led to a federal investigation and the defendant is now serving a 20 year prison sentence. Our stories have also led to the federal convictions of nearly a dozen people involved in mortgage fraud, stories we began reporting on back in 2005. Over the years, our stories have triggered cease and desist orders, schools closings and consumer refunds. In 2011, five new bills were signed into law, a direct result of stories we uncovered that triggered legislative action.
In 2010 we were honored with two Lone Star Emmy Awards for stories exposing Medicare fraud and the abuse of the guardianship program in Texas.
In 2008, a story about impoverished veterans fighting the VA for money owed to them was honored with a Lone Star Emmy and an Associated Press First Place Award.
In 2007, we were honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award and an Associated Press First Place Award for our story on airport security at Love Field. Our undercover investigation exposed the questionable work habits of Dallas Police Officers working at the airport. Our story on Criminal Child Care, honored with an Emmy, exposed dangerous convicted felons tapping into a federal program to help families.
In 2006 we were honored with an Emmy Award for our story on city trash haulers. That story exposed city crews working private jobs. It also captured a 2006 Dallas Press Club Award. The Houston Press Club honored us for our story on sex offenders living near schools. And in both 2006 and 2005 I was personally honored with Regional Emmys for "Best Investigative Reporter" and "Best Reporter."
In 2004, we won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. Our story on charter schools uncovered corruption and fraud within the charter school system and led to the conviction of a charter school principal.
Throughout the years our hard work has also been recognized with dozens of other awards including: the 2003 Emmy for "Best Reporter" the National Headliner Award, National Associated Press Award, National Education Writer's Association Award, three Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, sixteen Emmy Awards, twelve Dallas Press Club Awards, two Texas Headliner Awards, eleven Associated Press Awards and four Texas Gavel Awards.
Another career highlight was watching our undercover investigation of the North Texas Job Corp featured during Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill. That expose led to changes in the federal program. Our stories have also been featured on the CBS network program, "Shame on You" and "The Montel William's Show."
I started reporting at KDFW in 1991 after working in Peoria, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona. Most of our stories come from viewers or sources. We get hundreds of pieces of mail, emails and phone calls every day. It's quite a job just sorting through it all.
KDFW FOX 4
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