Civil Beat Staff

John Hill

John Hill is investigations editor at Honolulu Civil Beat. He meandered back and forth across the U.S. for two-plus decades as a newspaper reporter — with stops in Northern California, New York City, New Orleans, Albuquerque and back to Northern California — before abandoning the mainland altogether to come to Civil Beat in July 2016.

In 2005, he won the George Polk Award for documenting abuses of the California pension and disability systems, most notably by the top brass of the California Highway Patrol. In New Orleans, he was part of a team of reporters that did a year-long series on race relations honored for public service by the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Headliner Awards.

In 2009, John left journalism to work for a California Senate office that investigated shortcomings in state government. His reports focused on the state’s failure to prevent elder abuse and monitor deaths in residential drug treatment programs, among other topics, and led to legislation and administrative reforms.

In 2014, the Senate eliminated his office and he worked for a year-and-a-half as press secretary for the California State Controller.

John recognizes that the best investigations start with tips, and encourages Civil Beat readers to contact him with stories of skullduggery, malfeasance and garden-variety ineptitude.

Sex Abuse Cases Pose Dilemma For Media: How Much To Disclose? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Sex Abuse Cases Pose Dilemma For Media: How Much To Disclose?

During a recent wave of lawsuits against Hawaii schools, Civil Beat and other media outlets had to decide whether to name accusers and their alleged victimizers.

3 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii Announced Saturday Ronen Zilberman/Civil Beat

3 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii Announced Saturday

Public health officials warned residents not to let down their guard despite recent low case counts.

Information Lockdown At Hawaii Labor Department Stymies Coronavirus Stories Ronen Zilberman/Civil Beat

Information Lockdown At Hawaii Labor Department Stymies Coronavirus Stories

Civil Beat tried to pursue stories about workers in unsafe conditions or denied workers’ compensation claims, but the state labor department says it’s too busy to answer questions.

COVID-19 Cuts Off Hawaii Parents From Kids In Foster Care Courtesy of Laura Miller

COVID-19 Cuts Off Hawaii Parents From Kids In Foster Care

Hawaii, like many states, has called off in-person visits because of the coronavirus pandemic, though some think the ban goes too far.

Georgia Adoption Consultants Helped Honolulu Lawyer Place Marshallese Babies

Georgia Adoption Consultants Helped Honolulu Lawyer Place Marshallese Babies

The Christian referral service said it didn’t know Marshallese women were flying to the U.S. for adoptions, but the materials it sent to adoptive parents on behalf of attorney Laurie Loomis made it clear.

Hawaii Disciplinary Counsel To Investigate Lawyer Who Ran Marshallese Baby Business Jessica Terrell/Civil Beat

Hawaii Disciplinary Counsel To Investigate Lawyer Who Ran Marshallese Baby Business

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel said a Civil Beat story triggered the investigation into attorney Laurie Loomis.

This Honolulu Lawyer Has Run A Marshallese Baby Business With Impunity Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

This Honolulu Lawyer Has Run A Marshallese Baby Business With Impunity

Laurie Loomis’ operation, including flying women from the Marshall Islands for adoptions, resembles that of a recently indicted Arizona lawyer, but thus far she has faced no consequences.

Crackdown On Illegal Marshallese Adoptions Comes After More Than A Decade Of Inaction Jessica Terrell / Civil Beat

Crackdown On Illegal Marshallese Adoptions Comes After More Than A Decade Of Inaction

After the charging of a prominent Arizona adoption attorney in three states for multiple offenses, authorities say more actions are coming.

Major Player In Black Market Marshallese Adoptions Faces Criminal Charges maricopa.gov

Major Player In Black Market Marshallese Adoptions Faces Criminal Charges

Paul Petersen, an Arizona attorney who was the focus of a Honolulu Civil Beat investigation, is the target of a multi-state investigation.

Feds Charge Arkansas Fixer With Luring Marshallese Women To US For Illegal Adoptions Sarah Holm/Civil Beat

Feds Charge Arkansas Fixer With Luring Marshallese Women To US For Illegal Adoptions

Maki Takehisa, identified as a fixer in a Civil Beat investigation last year, worked with an Arizona attorney to arrange black market adoptions.

Mysteries Surround Pay For Top Staffers At Prominent Honolulu Rehab Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Mysteries Surround Pay For Top Staffers At Prominent Honolulu Rehab

Why did Sand Island Treatment Center report much higher salaries in its tax returns than in bids for state contracts? The rehab won’t say.