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Stories by Brad Racino

Emails Show NCTD Changed Paperwork After Info Request

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The North County Transit District paid $31,200 for a study on its leadership without seeking competitive bids, then changed paperwork and attempted to backdate a new contract after inewsource asked for the documentation.

North County Transit District Sued To Release Records

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KPBS media partner inewsource has sued North County Transit District to compel the agency to release documents the investigative news reporting nonprofit considers public.

What You Can Find Out About A Person At Assessor/Recorder’s Office

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To get to know a person — really know a person — just take a trip to the San Diego County Assessor and Recorder’s office in downtown San Diego.

Why Is It So Hard To Catch Illegal Campaign Contributions?

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At the root of San Diego’s recent campaign finance scandal lies the topic of outside donations, and the illegality of foreign money used to influence stateside elections.

Unraveling A Scandal, Part Two

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We’ve updated the story to show the second half of the investigation — how we figured out the second candidate, the extent of the foreign national’s network, and more.

How To Uncover A Scandal From Your Couch

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A how-to guide for unraveling San Diego campaign finance scandal involving a straw donor, a "foreign national" and local politicians.

San Diego Campaign Finance Scandal: Tracing The Donations

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inewsource has been digging deep to find new donations related to a federal investigation into illegal campaign contributions.

MTS Buses, Trolleys And Stations Tapped By An $18 Million Surveillance Network

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inewsource examined the extent of surveillance throughout San Diego’s public transportation network, along with the implications for privacy.

Following Up: Can Twitter Predict Elections?

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Given the rapid growth in social networking both in the U.S. and worldwide, it’s no surprise researchers and academics are crunching data by the ton, looking for the next big breakthrough in cheap, up-to-the-minute public polling.

Social Media Analysis And The San Diego Mayor's Race

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To better predict San Diego’s upcoming mayoral election, a professor at San Diego State University has tapped into the seediest and most vile underbelly of American politics.

The Third Retraction Demand From North County Transit District, And Our Response

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For the third time, the North County Transit District has sent inewsource and KPBS a retraction demand in response to a story. For the third time, we have responded.

"War On Women Over 40": Lawsuit Claims Age, Gender Bias At NCTD

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A lawsuit recently filed by a former North County Transit District employee alleges age and gender-based discrimination within the agency, and points the finger at NCTD's chief executive officer, Matthew Tucker.

Crisis Management 101: "The Unfortunate Truth"

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In light of Mayor Filner's current crisis, inewsource sat down for a Q&A with crisis management experts for an introductory lesson in how these things are handled behind the scenes.

NCTD To Change Email Retention Policy From 2 Years To 60 Days

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The North County Transit District is considering a policy change that would direct employees to delete certain emails after 60 days.

FTA Looking Into North County Transit District

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This afternoon, the Federal Transit Administration — the federal agency that grants transportation agencies money and oversees how that money is spent — confirmed it is now actively looking into San Diego’s North County Transit District (NCTD).

Audit: NCTD Contract Monitoring “Inefficient" And "Ineffective”

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An audit of the North County Transit District identified 19 deficiencies. In this ongoing series, inewsource details the most noteworthy.

Auditor Finds Major Deficiencies In NCTD's Contracts Department

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A scathing audit of NCTD's Contracts Department finds deficiencies throughout 19 areas. An LA transportation board chair weighs in on the report.

inewsource Responds To NCTD

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For the second time in less than a month, NCTD has sent inewsource and KPBS a letter demanding retractions. We have responded.

Transit Agency’s Revolving Door Costs Big, Causes Turmoil

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Twenty-one of the agency's top 25 positions have turned over since 2009 when Executive Director Matthew Tucker arrived. Some of the positions revolved as many as five times in three years.

North County Rail And Bus Service Suffers Without Contract Oversight

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In its ongoing investigation of the North County Transit District, inewsource has found that decisions made at the top have had serious consequences on the ground.

SPRINTER Funds Used For Buses — And Studies

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North County Transit District's Capital Improvement budgets show funding for the SPRINTER was set aside in 2012 -- and cut this year.

Universal Executives See Different Agency Reactions To Investigation

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Executives from Universal Protection Service watched last week as San Diego's transit agencies reacted to a recent KPBS & inewsource investigation.

Audit Confirms Questions About Transit Cop Training

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An audit, prompted by an inewsource and KPBS investigation, raises questions about transit security.

Transit Cop Quits Over Security Concerns

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Security guards who patrol San Diego’s train stations and trolleys say their concerns about safety are being ignored by their employer.

Emails And Interviews Offer Insight Into SPRINTER Shutdown

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The brake problems were known to some employees as far back as 2009 -- just one year after the SPRINTER began service.

Chula Vista Train Station Shooting Friday Night Directed At Trolley Cops

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A security guard present at Friday night's shooting tells a different story than the one detailed in a Metropolitan Transit System memo to its board.

SPRINTER Rail Service To Shut Down Due To Bad Brake Rotors

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North County Transit District's SPRINTER rail line, which runs between Escondido and Oceanside carrying 7,800 passengers a day, will be taken off the tracks to replace worn brake rotors.

MTS, NCTD Boards Meet After 'Security Breach' Transit Investigation

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The board of the Metropolitan Transit System gathered Thursday morning for more than three hours to discuss their monthly agenda items, including concerns over KPBS/inewsource's recent investigation into San Diego’s transit security.

Security Breach: Are You Safe On SD Trains and Trolleys?

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Private transit cops in San Diego say they’re unequipped to protect the public because the company and agencies in charge are doing the job on the cheap.

Pulling Back The Curtain On The Mayor’s Race

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The men who engineered the Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio campaigns shared their strategies and regrets with our Investigations Desk.

San Diego Mayor Decides Millions In Contracts Without Promised Oversight

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Whether the city's next mayor is Councilman Carl DeMaio or Congressman Bob Filner, he will wield extraordinary power to shape the future infrastructure deals of San Diego — a city with approximately $3.5 billion slated for capital projects over the next five years.

Filner Sits Out Votes In Congress While He Runs For Mayor

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While he’s been running for mayor this year, Congressman Bob Filner has missed voting on well more than half the votes in the House, more than any other California congressional member.

What's A Port Worth Anyway?

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Take a deep dive into San Diego's Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and find out what developers and the San Diego Unified Port Commission are fighting over.

Following A Car Shipment From Germany To Las Vegas — via San Diego

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Investigative Newsource will track a shipment of a car from start to finish — from the manufacturing plant in Germany to the customer’s door in Las Vegas.