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.

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.”

This Texas Lawyer Flies Marshallese Women Through Hawaii For Black Market Adoptions Jessica Terrell/Civil Beat

This Texas Lawyer Flies Marshallese Women Through Hawaii For Black Market Adoptions

In texts and emails with adoptive parents, Dallas lawyer Jody Hall openly flouts laws restricting Marshallese adoptions in the U.S.

She’s Fought Nearly Three Years To Adopt Her Grandson. Hawaii Keeps Saying No. Courtesy of Deborah Goodwin

She’s Fought Nearly Three Years To Adopt Her Grandson. Hawaii Keeps Saying No.

The state says it tries to reunite children with kin. But after Deborah Goodwin’s daughter died, it awarded custody to non-relatives and blocked her adoption attempts.

Hawaii Put This Woman On A Child Neglect List — And Now She Can’t Fight It Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Put This Woman On A Child Neglect List — And Now She Can’t Fight It

Julia Milam was placed on Hawaii’s abuse and neglect registry, a label that could kill her lifetime dream of becoming a nurse.

Longtime Acupuncturist Agrees To Stop Practicing To Settle Patient Complaint John Hill/Civil Beat

Longtime Acupuncturist Agrees To Stop Practicing To Settle Patient Complaint

Mike Hashimoto, a former acupuncture board member who pushed for regulation, was accused by a patient of unprofessional conduct.

A Nonprofit Honolulu Rehab Center Mixes Taxpayer Support With Lavish Pay Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A Nonprofit Honolulu Rehab Center Mixes Taxpayer Support With Lavish Pay

The executive director of the nonprofit Sand Island Treatment Center has been paid as much as $500,000 a year — and many counselors make over $100,000 — far in excess of their peers in Hawaii.

Well-Known Adoption Fixer Charged With Human Trafficking Sarah Holm/Civil Beat

Well-Known Adoption Fixer Charged With Human Trafficking

The case offers a rare glimpse into the thriving adoption pipeline to the U.S., documented in a Civil Beat investigation in November.

This Longtime Acupuncturist Who Pushed For Oversight Is Now Under Investigation John Hill/Civil Beat

This Longtime Acupuncturist Who Pushed For Oversight Is Now Under Investigation

Mike Hashimoto was accused of sexual misconduct by a patient three years ago. The still unresolved case highlights problems within the state agency that regulates licensed professionals.

Justice Served? A Highly Unusual Hawaii Law Is Costing This Woman Her Home Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Justice Served? A Highly Unusual Hawaii Law Is Costing This Woman Her Home

Her son was one of five teenagers who robbed and shot a Pearl City man during a home invasion 19 years ago. Now the victim has wound up with her house as part of his restitution claim.

Mysterious Manoa Tree Hackers May Be Peddling Hallucinogenic Bark Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Mysterious Manoa Tree Hackers May Be Peddling Hallucinogenic Bark

Large gashes in acacia trees, whose bark is reportedly hallucinogenic, were first noticed in December by Manoa residents.

These Lawmakers Think The State Should Charge $20 To Unblock Porn Sites Cory Lum/Civil Beat

These Lawmakers Think The State Should Charge $20 To Unblock Porn Sites

The ACLU argues the bills, which would require manufacturers to place blocking devices on computers and phones, are unconstitutional.