Awards keep coming for WRTV investigation

The investigation by WRTV into a retired local school superintendent commands more honors as one of the best local investigations.

The WRTV Call6 Investigators Team, Reporter Kara Kenney, News Director Kevin Finch and special projects producer Susan Batt were honored at the 2012 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting.  The team received third place honors for their investigation into Wayne Township’s embattled superintendent Dr. Terry Thompson.

A short anonymous letter to RTV6 tipped off the investigators that a retired school superintendent was being paid to serve as a “Superintendent Emeritus.”  Reporter Kara Kenney began to investigate. What she found was a retired superintendent accepting a $1 million retirement package in which even school board members were not fully aware. 

In the weeks after the initial story aired, the team also found Thompson and school board members took lavish trips and received insurance benefits at much lower costs than teachers in the district. Kara’s coverage prompted anger from taxpayers, the firing of the school district’s attorney, and a lawsuit filed by the district against Thompson.  As a direct result of RTV6's coverage, state lawmakers are currently considering legislation that calls for more transparency in superintendent contracts.

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting are given out annually by the Better Government Association. They recognize the best in government-related investigative reporting from across the Midwest region.