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Missing Lead Tests, an Underground Economy in NYC and More in MuckReads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email?  Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

Top Cops Made Bank on Rank and File, WNYC

In New York City, municipal workers are restricted from conducting business or having a financial relationship with subordinates unless a waiver is issued. But in the New York Police Department, several high-ranking police officials moonlight for, or have stake in, a for-profit test prep company for rank and file officers seeking to gain promotions, according to this investigation. The NYC Conflicts of Interest Board, which issues the waivers, considers things as simple as selling Girl Scout cookies to employees a conflict of interest. But this investigation asserts that these top cops made "thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, off subordinates seeking promotions."

Millions of American children missing early lead tests, Reuters

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set a goal of eradicating lead poisoning in American children by 2020. But the lack of testing for many children in the U.S. makes measuring success in that effort all but impossible. This Reuters investigation found that across the country, states are under-testing, or failing to test children at all. In fact, only 11 states require tests for lead levels in children's blood.

Kill bill: How Illinois' temp industry lobbying quashed reform, Reveal

Illinois Senate Bill 47 was first-of-its-kind legislation meant to prevent temp agencies from shutting out black workers in favor of Latinos who some employers believed worked harder and whom they could more easily exploit. But the bill faced stiff opposition from a Latino lawmaker who believed his constituents benefited from the jobs they got through the agencies. This is how the bill meant to limit both discrimination and exploitation came to be born – and then killed..

Inside the underground economy propping up New York City's food carts, Crain's New York

Mobile food vending permits (MFVPs) in New York City cost $200 and are typically valid for two years. Because regulations stipulate that only 3,000 permits can be issued, they have become extremely valuable on what amounts to a black market. Brokers acting as middlemen charge as much as $20,000 to illegally obtain some of those 3,000 permits, according to this investigation. Indeed, it is estimated that "70 to 80 percent of permits are illegally in use by someone other than the permit holder."  

#MuckReads Local

The siege downstairs, Austin American Statesman

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