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.

Adding To This Patient’s Pain — A $350 Bill For Paperwork Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Adding To This Patient’s Pain — A $350 Bill For Paperwork

An attorney for those seeking disability payments says Kaiser’s fees for filling out doctors’ forms create a big burden.

Here’s Why The Weather Experts Didn’t See The Kauai Storm Coming Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Here’s Why The Weather Experts Didn’t See The Kauai Storm Coming

The rain-laden system was hard to track because it wasn’t large-scale, like a tropical storm. And Hawaii weather is just hard to predict.

Whose Side Is This Workers’ Comp Doctor On? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Whose Side Is This Workers’ Comp Doctor On?

Chris Brigham has exerted major influence on how Hawaii’s insurers treat injured workers claims. Critics say he has mostly made it easier to slash benefits.

One Hawaii Woman’s Futile 4-Year Quest To Get Her Grandkids Back Courtesy: Kathleen Buck

One Hawaii Woman’s Futile 4-Year Quest To Get Her Grandkids Back

Officials say Kathleen Buck doesn’t have enough money to take in the five children, but she calls that analysis rife with errors.

Spying On Injured Workers Often Adds To Their Pain Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Spying On Injured Workers Often Adds To Their Pain

Surveillance is accepted practice in workers’ comp cases. It can lead to a cutoff of benefits, but things are not always as they appear.

Meet the Detective Who Tails Injured Workers Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Meet the Detective Who Tails Injured Workers

George Copeland’s tricks of the trade include cameras hidden in a key fob or shirt button, or hours spent staring at an apartment door.

Three Bills Aim To Clear Obstacles For Injured Workers Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Three Bills Aim To Clear Obstacles For Injured Workers

Giving injured workers a say in which doctor is used to examine them is one of the key issues on the table this year.
Hawaii Supreme Court: Christopher Deedy Can Go On Trial For A Third Time PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Hawaii Supreme Court: Christopher Deedy Can Go On Trial For A Third Time

UPDATED: The federal agent’s attorneys said pursuing a third trial against him for the death of Kollin Elderts is double jeopardy.

This Woman Lost 10 Years Battling A System Where Insurers Call The Shots Cory Lum/Civil Beat

This Woman Lost 10 Years Battling A System Where Insurers Call The Shots

Hobbled by pain from work injuries, Vanessa Sylva had to overcome medical reports by insurance doctors that challenged her need for surgeries.

Recent Court Decisions Beneficial For Injured Workers Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Recent Court Decisions Beneficial For Injured Workers

The Hawaii Supreme Court made two rulings in 2015 in favor of workers who had been denied treatment for their injuries.

Insurance ‘Hell’ Leaves Many Injured Workers Broken Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Insurance ‘Hell’ Leaves Many Injured Workers Broken

In Hawaii’s workers’ comp system, people with long-lasting injuries are often forced to battle doctors hand-picked by insurance companies to get treatment.

Hawaii AG Won’t File Charges In Toddler Abuse Case

Hawaii AG Won’t File Charges In Toddler Abuse Case

UPDATED: Peyton Valiente almost died from injuries suffered at a day care, and the Honolulu Police Department acknowledged botching the investigation.