Work

These New Pharma Bros Are Wreaking Havoc on Prescription Drug Prices

2018\Bloomberg News. This story, written with Andrew Martin, chronicled how two consultants offer a sure-fire strategy for struggling pharmaceutical companies — although some companies they’ve worked with have raised prices on drugs by as much as 4,116%.

You’re Overpaying for Drugs and Your Pharmacist Can’t Tell You

2017\Bloomberg News. U.S. pharmacists are barred from volunteering the fact that for many cheap, generic medicines, co-pays sometimes are more expensive than if patients simply pay out of pocket and bypass insurance. The extra money, a so-called clawback, ends up with the drug-benefit companies.

Mylan’s EpiPen Sales Plan: Schools Today, Everywhere Tomorrow

2017\Bloomberg News. Drugmaker Mylan NV made a fortune after it got schools to stock its EpiPen allergy shot. The company then wanted to sell EpiPens to restaurants, sports venues and potentially even Boy Scout troops by setting up its own pharmacy to cut out middlemen and lobbying for new laws.

2016\Bloomberg News. The drug industry markets antibiotics to veterinarians and grew sales outside the country even as U.S. regulators tried to limit antibiotic use in American livestock.

Deadly Neglect

2011\Chicago Tribune. Co-written with Tribune reporter Sam Roe, this two-day series exposed a decade of harmful care at a facility where developmentally disabled children died from neglect or under circumstances. The articles led to new laws, steps for it to close and was named a Pulitzer Finalist.

On Thin Ice

2013\Chicago Tribune. Speedskating’s national governing body, US Speedskating, for years was plagued by financial and organizational troubles and bickering between athletes and coaches. The U.S. Olympic Committee engineered an overhaul less than a year before 2014 Sochi Games that included a new president. At the Olympics, the much-heralded speedskaters became news for the wrong reasons en route to an historic collapse. Eventually they dumped their highly-promoted suits from Under Armour.

Understanding Brandon Marshall

2012\Chicago Tribune. Investigative profile of Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, based on numerous public records and a four day stay at the All-Pro’s home in Florida. Marshall, who has a history of alleged violence against women and is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, invited Hopkins for an up-close look into his life after he learned a story was in the works.

Pros Are Often Amateurs At Running Charities

2013\Chicago Tribune. A wide-ranging analysis of 79 charities started by Chicago professional athletes found nearly half of them were dissolved, had stopped operations or had shown no recent signs of activity. Nearly two dozen never registered with the Illinois attorney general’s office and at least five lost their tax-exempt status by the IRS. The project included a graphic and a searchable database online created by Tribune graphics reporter Ryan Marx, and was named a Livingston finalist.

A Pitcher, Paralyzed Friend, Few Answers

2015\Chicago Tribune. A chaotic evening colored by drugs and alcohol in which a friend of a top White Sox pitcher became paralyzed, destroying friendships and leading to a high-stakes legal drama playing out in a Chicago courtroom.

Battle Lines Drawn on U. of I. Coach 

2015\Chicago Tribune. Interviews with more than four dozen former and current players found the University of Illinois football program under coach Tim Beckman was caught in discord at the outset because of rocky relationships with players he inherited from his predecessor, leading to accusations of mistreatment and mishandling of players’ injuries. Athletic Director Mike Thomas, presiding over the school’s programs, faced criticism for alienating alumni while teams struggled.

Dangerous Game

2014\ Chicago Tribune. Jose Abreu, a star first baseman for the Chicago White Sox, is believed to have been illegally smuggled out of Cuba, a dangerous tale involving the murky world of human trafficking.

Students learn cost of playing in big time

2014\ Chicago Tribune. Eight of the nine Illinois public colleges with Division I athletic programs relied on student fees, which are paid in addition to tuition, for at least a quarter of athletic department revenue.

$23 Million For Paid Leave

2012\Chicago Tribune. Written with reporter Alex Richards, this investigation found that the state of Illinois shelled out a combined $23 million over five years while more than 2,000 employees were on paid administrative leave. A followup found the state’s deputy boxing official was paid the most, more than two years.

Sports charity manager skirts best practices

2014\ Chicago Tribune. This story profiled a Kentucky company that managed charities started by professional athletes, including Chicago Bear Charles Tillman, but fell short of industry standards.

Maverick Investor Faces Legal Pressure

2013\Chicago Tribune. This story took readers inside the tangled world of Leon “Chip” Greenblatt, a Chicago investor known for deals, debts and conflicts — “He is like the TV commercial character — he’s the most interesting man alive,” one associate said. He was once one of three young traders who made $27 million in 22 days trading the stock of a bankrupt company, becoming known as one of “the bad boys of arbitrage.” But legal pressures are intensifying.

Ex-Bears Charity Now In Disarray

2010\Chicago Tribune Former Chicago Bear Chris Zorich may have been better known for the work of his charity than for his tackling skills, but his charity later fell into disarray and Zorich unable to account for more than $864,000 organizational funds. In 2012 he agreed to pay back $350,000 to authorities, and later pleaded guilty to federal misdemeanor charges for not filing personal income tax returns.

Millions of Public Money Paid For White Sox Restaurant 

2011\Chicago Tribune. The public agency that built and owns the White Sox stadium paid nearly $7 million for construction of a restaurant, a team store and infrastructure.

Fouled, But Not Out

2011\Chicago Tribune. One the country’s top high school boy’s basketball teams in Chicago won the state title in 2009 with a squad that included seven players who later joined college programs. But the team wasn’t supposed to be playing in the postseason because its coach was found to have violated recruiting rules. Officials failed to enforce the penalty. The school’s principal also violated district rules by admitting two students who didn’t go through the required admissions process.

Hopping On The Money Plane

2008\Times-News This investigation revealed that the police department in Twin Falls, Idaho paid top dollar for security shifts at its airport because high-ranking officers worked them. The city provided financial data about the shifts only after the state’s attorney general intervened, and Hopkins used it to create a database that led to the story, which prompted the city to hire full-time police at the airport.

Legislature of Hard Knocks

2009\Times-News About 20% of the 105-member Idaho Legislature did not hold four-year college degrees, a statistic that alarmed critics in a year of scrutiny of the state’s education funding.

Lobbyist Steps Back From Legislative Pay Panel

2008\Times-News Idaho Gov. Otter picked a former adviser who had become a lobbyist to determinate the salaries of legislators. The deal was nixed after inquiries were made to the lobbyist.

The Reeling In Of Red’s

2008\ Times-News A behind-the-scenes account of an unsuccessful plan to redevelop downtown Twin Falls, Idaho revealed an effort kept hidden form taxpayers that was shrouded in ethical and legal concerns.