Winner 1994

Sewer Solvent Scandal


This outstanding series of investigative reports is proof that a local television station can be the primary agent in uncovering government fraud and in leading the way to reform. The KGAN I-Team, including reporter Sandy Reisgraf, photographer Ger Edwards and executive producers Dennis Kendall and John Dearing, caught city workers dumping thousands of dollars of chemical solvent literally down the drain into the city’s sewer system, ostensibly to clean grease from the lines. Not only did the chemical fail to work, but it was environmentally unsafe. Over the years the city spent over $1,000,000 for the chemical, paying $29 per gallon. KGAN’s investigation showed that the chemical was available for less than $2 per gallon and that the supplier had paid kickbacks and bribes to at least four city officials to perpetuate the scam. Indictments, arrests and convictions followed. For investigative reporting which provides a blueprint for television stations everywhere to emulate, a Peabody to KGAN’s I-Team for Sewer Solvent Scandal.