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.

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.

Fit To Print? State’s Mauna Kea Press Conferences Raise The Question Of What’s News Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Fit To Print? State’s Mauna Kea Press Conferences Raise The Question Of What’s News

Government institutions have the inside scoop, but that doesn’t mean the media should always bite.

Judge: Mother Wrongly Listed By Hawaii As Abuser Had No Chance To Clear Her Name Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Judge: Mother Wrongly Listed By Hawaii As Abuser Had No Chance To Clear Her Name

Courtney Bird lost her case in federal appeals court because she didn’t file in time, but one judge blasted Hawaii’s system as nonsensical and unfair.

Texas Agency Forced To Shutter Marshallese Adoption Business Jessica Terrell/Civil Beat

Texas Agency Forced To Shutter Marshallese Adoption Business

Adoptions International, which flew in Marshallese birth mothers through Hawaii, was suspended in June and last week lost its accreditation.

Abuse Signs In Newborn’s Death Went Unreported — Until His Sister Was Injured Via Wikimedia Commons

Abuse Signs In Newborn’s Death Went Unreported — Until His Sister Was Injured

Tripler Army Medical Center doctors found Grayson Beyer died from natural causes, and didn’t report suspicious evidence despite a Hawaii law requiring them to do so.

Texas Agency Ordered To Stop Marshall Islands Adoptions Jessica Terrell/Civil Beat

Texas Agency Ordered To Stop Marshall Islands Adoptions

Attorney Jody Hall, the subject of a Civil Beat investigation, told clients she would fly in birth mothers from the Marshall Islands in defiance of U.S. and Marshallese law.

Hawaii AG: Rehab Center Ignored Promised Reforms For 2 Years Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii AG: Rehab Center Ignored Promised Reforms For 2 Years

The director of Sand Island Treatment Center reportedly did not pay back part of his excessive salary for two years because he was “distracted.”