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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.
After the charging of a prominent Arizona adoption attorney in three states for multiple offenses, authorities say more actions are coming.
Paul Petersen, an Arizona attorney who was the focus of a Honolulu Civil Beat investigation, is the target of a multi-state investigation.
Maki Takehisa, identified as a fixer in a Civil Beat investigation last year, worked with an Arizona attorney to arrange black market adoptions.
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.
Government institutions have the inside scoop, but that doesn’t mean the media should always bite.
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.
Adoptions International, which flew in Marshallese birth mothers through Hawaii, was suspended in June and last week lost its accreditation.
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.
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.
The director of Sand Island Treatment Center reportedly did not pay back part of his excessive salary for two years because he was “distracted.”
In texts and emails with adoptive parents, Dallas lawyer Jody Hall openly flouts laws restricting Marshallese adoptions in the U.S.
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.