Today in accountability news:
- Immigration judges and deportation officers routinely disregard the mental state of detainees facing deportation, reports The New York Times.
- What appears to be a grassroots, word-of-mouth review on Yelp or Twitter could actually be a paid endorsement, reports The Washington Post. Businesses and PR companies have increasingly tried to shape online conversations about their brands -- spending on "word-of-mouth" marketing is expected to reach $3 billion a year by 2013.
- Congressional investigators found that a former U.S. representative from Georgia violated House ethics rules limiting how much members of Congress may earn from outside sources. The ex-lawmaker, Nathan Deal, also failed to disclose business ties that could pose a conflict of interest, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Deal, who is running for Georgia governor, called the report part of a "witch hunt" by Democrats.
- FEC filings show that the Republican National Committee spent more than $17,000 in February on private jets alone, according to The Daily Caller. Among other expenditures were $43,000 for a trip to Hawaii and nearly $2,000 at a bondage-themed nightclub. The RNC has since fired the aide who helped reimburse the nightclub expenditures with RNC funds.
- The Washington Post reports that the Defense Department is investigating a network of Pentagon contractors suspected of gathering intelligence information to help track and kill militants.
These stories are part of our ongoing roundup of investigations from other news outlets. For more, visit our Investigations Elsewhere page.