Today in accountability news:
- The Dallas Morning News reports that around the gas-rich Barnett Shale in Texas, 90 percent of natural gas facilities are releasing high levels of toxic pollutants, some of which are carcinogens being found near homes. Thus far, oil and gas companies have not been penalized for the excessive emissions.
- Last week, we featured a story showing that regulators failed to adequately supervise Citigroup. According to The New York Times, they also failed to properly supervise Washington Mutual. An inspectors general report found that the failure was due in large part to feuding between the bank's two regulators--the Treasury's Office of Thrift Supervision and the FDIC.
- Last week, Toyota was fined $16.4 million for failing to notify regulators about its defective accelerator pedals. If not for a statutory cap, reports The Washington Post, the automaker could have been subject to $13.8 billion in penalties--$6,000 per car, for 2.3 million cars recalled.
- With its overtime budget slashed, the Los Angeles Police Department is forcing its personnel to take time off, delaying investigations and letting cases go cold. The Los Angeles Times reports that even as the number of killings rise, the work of homicide detectives is being hampered by the city's fiscal crisis.
- The Wall Street Journal reports on an increasingly common online scam that tricks desperate job seekers into working for what appear to be shipping companies. Stolen money is then funneled through the job seekers, who use it to buy and ship goods that the scammers then resell. The scammers often go to great lengths to seem legitimate, with LinkedIn profiles for executives and job listings on Careerbuilder.com.
These stories are part of our ongoing roundup of investigations from other news outlets. For more, visit our Investigations Elsewhere page.