Dirty Cops, Brazen Squatters, and a Secret CIA Prison

This week’s top MuckReads from ProPublica

The Office of the National Register for Secret State Information, or ORNISS, in Bucharest. A report says that the CIA had one of its “black site” prisons in the basement

Photograph by AFP/Getty Images.

Here are this week’s top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica’s ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to The best submissions are selected by ProPublica’s editors and reporters and then featured on ProPublica and @ProPublica.

Inside Romania’s Secret CIA Prison, Associated Press
AP located one of the CIA “black sites” where high profile detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, stayed before transferring to Guantanamo Bay. It was in the basement of a government building, located on a residential street in Romania’s capital. All of the prisons closed by 2006.

Florida’s Flawed System for Policing the Police, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
One cop in Florida has been subject to 40 internal affairs cases, including 16 for battery or excessive force. He’s been fired five times and arrested three. But he’s been allowed to keep his job, thanks to the state’s system for protecting the police.
Contributed by @daudig

Racial Gap Found in Traffic Stops in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Black drivers are seven times as likely to be pulled over as white drivers in Milwaukee, an analysis of nearly 46,000 traffic stops found. The police chief said the disparity comes from the department’s targeted crime-fighting approach, which results in more police in neighborhoods with larger minority populations.
Contributed by @amuykaron

Squatters Claim More Than $8 Million Worth of Tarrant County Properties, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
If they pay a $16 filing fee, keep up with property taxes, and live in a house for three years or more, courts may not be able to stop squatters due to a loophole in Texas law. One person moved from Memphis to claim a $2.7 million mansion, while another nabbed a house while the owner was in Houston undergoing chemotherapy. The owner’s belongings were tossed in a Dumpster in the driveway.
Contributed by @TxWatchdog

N.J. Attorney General’s 23 Double-Dippers Pocket Millions, New Jersey Watchdog
Retire for as little as a day, stay on the payroll, then collect pension checks for the rest of your career on top of your salary. Twenty-three attorney general staffers in New Jersey have done it, costing state taxpayers $1.56 million per year.
Contributed by @rachaelgleason