Derek Willis

News Applications Developer

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Derek Willis is a news applications developer at ProPublica, focusing on politics and elections. He previously worked as a developer and reporter at The New York Times, a database editor at The Washington Post, and at the Center for Public Integrity and Congressional Quarterly. He began his journalism career at The Palm Beach Post. He is a co-founder of OpenElections, a project to collect and publish election results from all 50 states.

Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns

The malware attack, which sent fake email replies to voters and businesses, spotlights an overlooked vulnerability in counties that don’t follow best practices for computer security.

The NYPD Files: Search Thousands of Civilian Complaints Against New York City Police Officers

After New York state repealed a law that kept NYPD disciplinary records secret, ProPublica obtained data from the civilian board that investigates complaints about police behavior. Use this database to search thousands of allegations.

Tracking PPP Loans: Search Every Company Approved for Federal Loans Over $150k

The Paycheck Protection Program includes about $659 billion in federally backed loans to small businesses, to be forgiven if used to prevent laying off workers. Our database lets you search what’s been disclosed so far.

A Company Run by a White House “Volunteer” With No Experience in Medical Supplies Got $2.4 Million From the Feds for Medical Supplies

A $2.4 million deal to supply the Bureau of Prisons with surgical gowns was the second multimillion dollar contract for coronavirus supplies that went to somebody who did work for the White House but had little relevant experience.

Did Your Job Give You Masks or Other Protective Gear? Send Us a Picture.

You can help us find out if the equipment issued to federal employees is certified for protective use.

Federal Agencies Have Spent Millions on KN95 Masks, Often Without Knowing Who Made Them

Government employees at several agencies are relying on KN95 masks that the agencies cannot guarantee offer the most protection. Some agencies have paid little attention to important manufacturing details and been tripped up by shifting regulations.

Masks Sold by Former White House Official to Navajo Hospitals Don’t Meet FDA Standards

New information from the Indian Health Service calls into question why the agency purchased expensive medical gear that it now cannot use as intended.

A Closer Look at Federal COVID Contractors Reveals Inexperience, Fraud Accusations and a Weapons Dealer Operating Out of Someone’s House

The Trump administration has promised at least $1.8 billion to 335 first-time contractors, often without competitive bidding or thorough vetting of their backgrounds.

Coronavirus Contracts: Tracking Federal Purchases to Fight the Pandemic

The federal government is spending billions of dollars to combat the coronavirus, and spending shows no sign of slowing down. Explore who the U.S. is buying from, what it’s buying and how much it’s paying.

The Feds Gave a Former White House Official $3 Million to Supply Masks to Navajo Hospitals. Some May Not Work.

Zach Fuentes, former deputy chief of staff to President Trump, won the contract just days after registering his company. He sold Chinese masks to the government just as federal regulators were scrutinizing foreign-made equipment.

Richard Burr Steps Down From Chairmanship of Senate Intelligence Committee

Burr’s resignation comes after the FBI seized his cellphone Wednesday. The Republican from North Carolina is being investigated for selling stock ahead of the market crash due to coronavirus fears.

On the Same Day Sen. Richard Burr Dumped Stock, So Did His Brother-in-Law. Then the Market Crashed.

The brother-in-law, a Trump appointee, sold between $97,000 and $280,000 worth of stock. Burr is under federal investigation over whether he traded on non-public information gathered through his work in the Senate.

A Conservative Legal Group Significantly Miscalculated Data in a Report on Mail-In Voting

President Trump touted a new report on voter fraud, but ProPublica found a critical error with the data. Even with the correction, experts say the report is misleading.

Sen. Richard Burr Is Not Just a Friend to the Health Care Industry. He’s Also a Stockholder.

The Republican of North Carolina, who is under investigation for his stock trading, regularly flips health care stocks even as he pushes for legislation to help the industry.

Even After Trump Declared a National Emergency, Some Talk Radio Hosts Weren’t Convinced

In the last two weeks, several of the most-listened-to conservative hosts were telling millions of listeners that they should ignore the “hype” and that the coronavirus is no worse than the seasonal flu.

The Senator Who Dumped His Stocks Before the Coronavirus Crash Has Asked Ethics Officials for a “Complete Review”

After ProPublica’s report that Richard Burr dumped stocks after reassuring the public about coronavirus readiness, he said he welcomed an ethics investigation.

Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness

Intelligence Chair Richard Burr’s selloff came around the time he was receiving daily briefings on the health threat.

Republican National Committee Obscured How Much It Pays Its Chief of Staff

Amid the record-breaking flows of cash, the RNC is giving lucrative consulting work to a select group of political operatives with Trump campaign ties.

Iowa’s Lesson: Political Parties Are Not as Good as Government Officials at Counting Votes

Most primaries are run by state and local governments. But caucuses are different — and Iowa shows how that can be a problem.

Congressional Survey on Hate Crimes

We asked members of Congress what they wanted to do about hate violence beyond offering thoughts and prayers. Here’s what they said.

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