Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Brad Racino

Multimedia-Based Investigative Reporter

Photo of Brad Racino

Brad Racino is a senior reporter and assistant director at inewsource, as well as a photographer, videographer and editor. He has produced work for print, radio and TV on a variety of topics including political corruption, transportation, health, trade, surveillance and maritime.

His cross-platform reporting has earned more than 40 local awards and several national awards, including back-to-back medals from Investigative Reporters and Editors, a national Emmy nomination and the Sol Price Award for Responsible Journalism.

Racino has worked as a reporter and database analyst for News21; as a photographer, videographer and reporter for the Columbia Missourian; a project coordinator for the National Freedom of Information Coalition and as a videographer and editor for Verizon Fios1 TV in New York.

He received his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 2012.

Recent Stories by Brad Racino

Tease photo for story

HiCaliber Horse Rescue Back To Fundraising After Filing Financial Paperwork

April 18
By Brad Racino / inewsource

The action comes about a month after the Attorney General’s Office prohibited HiCaliber from soliciting donations because it hadn’t submitted 2016 paperwork.

Tease photo for story

Fourth HiCaliber Horse Rescue Board Member Never Saw Financials

March 28
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Another former board member of HiCaliber Horse Rescue has come forward to tell inewsource she never saw financial paperwork or detailed receipts while helping to oversee the Valley Center nonprofit. The horse rescue is at the center of multiple local and state investigations involving fraud, animal abuse and improper veterinary practices.

Tease photo for story

Briggs Law Corp. Loses Supreme Court Appeal Over Wal-Mart Opinion

March 27
By Brad Racino / inewsource

The state Supreme Court has denied a request by San Diego attorney Cory Briggs and his nonprofit client, CREED-21, to unpublish a precedent-setting opinion involving the California Environmental Quality Act and a Wal-Mart project in Riverside County.

Tease photo for story

Eyeballs, Del Mar And Manure: More On HiCaliber Horse Rescue

March 22
By Brad Racino / inewsource

The investigation inewsource began last month into HiCaliber Horse Rescue involved dozens of interviews and hundreds of pages of public records. Some of the material uncovered provides additional insights into how the Valley Center nonprofit operates.

Tease photo for story

HiCaliber Donor Funds Used For Mobile Phone Spying, Weight Watchers; Documents Shared With District Attorney

March 15
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Michelle Knuttila, the founder of the nonprofit HiCaliber Horse Rescue, spent thousands of donor dollars intended for rescuing and rehabilitating horses on late-night fast-food and bar tabs, mobile phone spy technology, Weight Watchers and other purchases from October 2013 to March 2015, according to financial documents provided to inewsource.

Tease photo for story

HiCaliber Horse Volunteers Say Disease Outbreak At Valley Center Ranch Not Disclosed

March 8
By Brad Racino / inewsource

An active outbreak of a highly contagious equine disease called strangles has occurred on the HiCaliber Horse Rescue ranch in Valley Center and is not being disclosed to anyone on the outside, including people who have adopted horses from the nonprofit over the past few months, five former HiCaliber volunteers told inewsource.

Tease photo for story

Former Board Member And Veterinarian Details Problems With Finances, Medical Practices At HiCaliber Horse Rescue

March 7
By Brad Racino / inewsource

HiCaliber Horse Rescue’s former veterinarian and board member told inewsource Tuesday he has shared medical records and his concerns about HiCaliber’s founder practicing veterinary medicine without a license with the California Veterinary Medical Board.

Tease photo for story

Attorney General’s Office Halts HiCaliber’s Fundraising, Spending For Failing To File Tax Docs

March 5
By Brad Racino / inewsource

HiCaliber Horse Rescue, a Valley Center nonprofit embroiled in allegations of fraud and animal abuse, can no longer raise or spend money until it submits proper financial disclosures to the state.

Tease photo for story

HiCaliber Horse Rescue Ensnared In Allegations Of Animal Cruelty, Fraud

Feb. 28
By Brad Racino / inewsource

Horse enthusiasts from across the country are accusing HiCaliber Horse Rescue, a Valley Center nonprofit, of animal cruelty and fraud based on first-hand accounts and the organization’s social media posts. Local and state authorities are looking into the allegations.

Tease photo for story

Cory Briggs’ Law Firm Asks State Supreme Court To Review Precedent-Setting Decision

Feb. 5
By Brad Racino / inewsource

The Briggs Law Corp. has asked the California Supreme Court to review a ruling that ended a lawsuit filed by local attorney Cory Briggs, drew the attention of the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and established new legal precedent.

View all stories by Brad Racino ›