WBTV Investigates

  Auto repair shop faces allegations of damaging cars to drive up costs

The North Carolina Department of Insurance confirms it is also investigating a similar complaint filed by an insurance company against Charlotte Body & Paint.

  Man accused in Steak ‘N Shake shooting released from prison two years before maximum sentence date

  Evidence starts in trial against mom who went into hiding with her daughter

  WBTV investigation leads to government action against local pool company

  Judge denies Meck GOP restraining order request against county commissioners

  Union Co. Sheriff withheld text messages, deputies deleted records in Kristy Brooks case

Hearing set for Monday in Meck GOP lawsuit against county commission over budget process

Continued Coverage

  Mecklenburg commissioners put quarter cent sales tax on ballot

Republicans sue Meck County Commissioners over budget transparency

  Taxes increasing $100+ a month for more than 23,000 Mecklenburg property owners

  New court filing points to possible plea deal in federal case against Alex Underwood, deputies

Watching Your Wallet: Experts say to shop around for the best deals on car insurance and cell phone plans

  Charlotte leaders hit reset on new comp time policy

  UNC Hospitals’ dark money contribution approved by CFO, record shows

A WBTV investigation has identified the senior UNC Hospitals administrator who approved using state money to contribute to a dark money advocacy organization earlier this year. Previously, the hospital said the payment was made in error.

  Lawsuit filed against Kia of Gastonia claims employees ‘condoned customers inflation of their income’

For months WBTV has uncovered allegations from Kia of Gastonia customers that their income was inflated on their credit applications without their knowledge.

  NC vehicle safety inspections don’t cover rust and a local grandmother paid the price for it.

She filed a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Justice claiming the car was falling apart after only her second time driving it.

  UNC Hospitals makes contribution to dark money group, asks for refund after WBTV investigation

The UNC Hospitals system wrote a check from a state account in January of this year that, in part, was intended to fund a dark money political organization, records obtained by WBTV show.

  McCready announces plan to lower Rx prices, bashes Bishop on healthcare record

  City staffers knew about Cross Charlotte Trail budget months before manager, council and public

  City employees facing major pay changes but HR director mum on details

  More Kia of Gastonia customers say their loan applications were falsified

  NC House reinstates Hurricane Recovery Committee as new reports find improper spending of relief funds

  Meck. Sheriff fires back after criticisms from U.S. Attorney over 287g, detainers for undocumented immigrants

  Mecklenburg Co. Commissioners Chairman blasts fellow commissioner, media after being questioned on open meetings violation

The chairman of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners opened Tuesday’s night’s meeting with a monologue that attacked a fellow commissioner and local media after questions surfaced about whether the commissioners violated state open meetings laws in discussing changes to the county’s budget

  US Attorney critical of Mecklenburg Co. Sheriff over ICE policies, files federal charges against man in May SWAT standoff

Andrew Murray, the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, was critical of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff on Monday, as his office filed a federal criminal charge against a man who was twice released from the county jail after being arrested on charges related to domestic

  New emails show more private budget wrangling by county commissioners

Questions for the commissioners began earlier this week after Commissioner Pat Cotham revealed an email sent from Chairman George Dunlap to the commissioners outlining the agreed-upon amendments that would be made to the budget.

  Bishop frequently absent from senate while campaigning for NC-9 seat

State Senator Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) has missed a majority of votes on bills, motions and amendments during the 2019 session, records show, as he campaigns for a seat in Congress.

  NC elections board member criticizes chairman, selection process for new director

North Carolina State Board of Elections member Ken Raymond is not happy with the process that led to Karen Brinson Bell being hired as the agency’s new executive director.

  Meck BOCC Chairman touts transparency, then declines to answer questions on budget

Just minutes after touting how transparent the county commission’s budget process was, Mecklenburg BOCC Chairman George Dunlap refused to answer basic questions about commissioners’ budget adjustment requests.

  Police training remains intact, council salaries unmoved after Charlotte budget talks

After WBTV Investigates reported on some Charlotte council members exploring whether they could increase their salary by cutting CMPD crisis intervention training, council sought a massive course correction and clarification of what their intentions were.

  E-Scooters involved in dozens of accidents, used to commit crimes

A records request by WBTV found that CMPD have responded 76 calls involving rental scooters between Mat 2018 and March 2019.

Council members propose cutting police training budget to give themselves a raise

During a City of Charlotte budget briefing Wednesday Councilman Braxton Winston requested the city manager raise city council and the mayor’s salaries in the FY2020 budget proposal. Council members Matt Newton and LaWana Mayfield asked city staff about cutting $1 million in police training.

  Couple stuck with medical bills after Laser Spine Institute closes

The Towell's filed a complaint with the Florida Attorney General's office detailing the all of the problem's they had trying to get authorization and answers from the Laser Spine Institute.

  Senior VA leader: VA has ‘lost touch with its values’ as whistleblower office is investigated for mishandling complaints

A senior VA leader-turned-whistleblower is breaking his silence for the first time to detail the way he says his case has been mishandled, as the VA office responsible for investigating whistleblower complaints is investigated itself by the agency’s internal watchdog.

  HUD Inspector General reviewing NC recovery efforts as new report outlines slow, wasteful spending

The Office of Inspector General for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development is conducting a review of North Carolina’s agency that distributes federal aid money intended to help rebuild from hurricanes.

Reporter’s Notebook: Why I petitioned the court for video related to the shooting of Officer Jordan Sheldon

At no point has it been my intention to get or publish the actual video of Ofc. Sheldon being shot and dying.

McCready, Bishop work to define which ‘Dan’ is best for District 9

It turned into an afternoon of each Dan trying to label the other.

  Dan Bishop wins primary, will represent Republican Party in NC-9 special election

Dan Bishop was declared the winner of the Republican primary Tuesday night and will represent the GOP in the special election for the open house seat in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District in September.

  Republican candidates face off in primary NC District 09 election

Ten Republican candidates for the NC-9 Congressional faced off in a primary election Tuesday, with Dan Bishop declared the winner of the Republican primary.

  Former deputy details culture of fear, retaliation and intimidation under Alex Underwood

As sheriff of Chester County, Alex Underwood ran his agency with fear and intimidation, sometimes using his power and authority to intimidate political rivals, a former deputy who worked for Underwood told WBTV in an exclusive interview.

Watching Your Wallet: Spring housing market secrets revealed

Want to get top dollar for your home this spring? Or are you looking to buy your first home? NerdWallet gives tips for those on both sides of the equation.

Charges dropped against Chester man and mother whose arrest led to indictment of sheriff, deputies

Criminal charges have been dropped against a Chester County man and his mother who were both arrested in November 2018, paving the way for a federal investigation that has led to the county’s sheriff and two deputies being indicted.

  NC state elections board set to hire new director

The North Carolina State Board of Elections is set to vote to replace its current director during a telephonic meeting on Monday, multiple sources confirm to WBTV.

  Internal poll is latest to show Bishop leading NC-9 Republican primary

An internal poll obtained by WBTV shows Dan Bishop with a commanding lead in the Republican primary race for the 9th Congressional District.

  Reporters, public turned away from community meeting on Panthers practice bubble

The Panthers are petitioning the City of Charlotte to allow them to build signs and branding along with a new practice facility for the team.

  Gaston County dealership faces allegations of falsifying consumers’ income and information to sell cars

Customers claim they were given loans that were exorbitant an impossible to afford while the dealership gave them cash to offset payments in the short-term.

  Chester County sheriff suspended after being indicted on federal charges

Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood has been suspended and an interim sheriff appointed after Underwood, his chief deputy and a lieutenant were indicted by a federal grant jury.

  NCDMV cancels training for new hires to prepare for ‘peak demand’ this summer

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has cancelled basic training for new driver license examiners as it prepares for an expected uptick in customers seeking a new license or ID card this summer.

  DNA Detectives: Scientists combining forensics with genealogy break ‘unsolvable’ cases

Scientists are using forensic genetics to help solve decades-old cold cases.

  NC Attorney General files ‘investigative demand’ against Charlotte Fiberglass Pools

A Matthews pool company investigated by WBTV for leaving customers’ projects incomplete or damaged is now at the center of a new investigation.

  'I was curious about jihad’: Accused ISIS sympathizer arrested at Charlotte airport

A man was arrested at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Tuesday en route to the United States from Pakistan.

  FBI, SLED raid Chester Co. Sheriff’s Office

Agents with the FBI and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division executed a search warrant at the Chester County Sheriff’s Office Monday morning.

  Failed and Forgotten

The deaths of hundreds of children because of abuse or neglect goes unnoticed every year by agencies that protect kids. Congress and a 45-year-old law are largely to blame.

  A trifecta of failures puts kids at risk

When children die because of abuse or neglect, child protection agencies are often blamed – they are underfunded and overworked. But there are many other culprits who failed children.

  Digital rollbacks: Millions of cars have false mileage on odometers

Carfax experts say there are potentially more than one million cars on the roads with false odometer readings - meaning their mileage has been rolled back to make the vehicles look like they have less wear and tear.

  Charlotte council question response, show support for officers after release of complete body-camera video

Of particular concern to some council members was the apparent lack of medical assistance or attention officers gave Franklin after he was shot.

Records show second officer’s body cameras were off during deadly shooting

Records show the two body cameras assigned to the second officer who was on the scene of a deadly officer-involved shooting in late March were both turned off on the day of the shooting.

  Early voting sites open in 9th District primary for US House

Early-voting sites open on Wednesday through May 10 in the 9th congressional district's eight counties. Six counties have just one early-voting site open on weekdays during regular business hours. Mecklenburg County has seven sites.

  City Council decided to watch full Franklin shooting video with advice from city attorney, mayor says

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said she and members of the Charlotte City Council made the decision to view the full video from the shooting upon the advice of the city attorney.

  Second officer in Franklin shooting has string of suspensions, records show

The second officer who was on scene during a fatal shooting in March in the parking lot of a Burger King on Beatties Ford Road has a string of disciplinary action stemming from incidents, according to personnel information released by CMPD on Monday.

  CMPD ordered to explain withholding of full Franklin shooting video to judge

A judge has ordered the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to appear in court and explain why the full body camera video depicting the events before, during and after the shooting of Danquirs Franklin was neither provided to a judge to review or released publicly.

  Charlotte tow truck driver without a license caught driving on camera

A tow truck driver with dozens of driving offenses, no driver’s license and several lawsuits has faced few consequences for how his towing company operates.

Dan McCready returns campaign donation from Rep. Ilhan Omar

A spokesperson for McCready says he has returned a $2,000 donation from Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar.

  Dowless, subpoenaed to appear before federal grand jury, leaves without testifying

McCrae Dowless showed up in Raleigh to appear before a federal grand jury on Tuesday but was turned away.

  State elections board referred case of vote buying. Local DA said there wasn’t even enough evidence to investigate.

A candidate for Lumberton City Council lost her race by one vote in 2015. Records from the NC State Board of Elections show investigators found evidence the woman's opponent had paid three people to vote for him. But the local prosecutor said there wasn't enough evidence to even investigate.

Watching Your Wallet: Experts give advice on reining in your tax refund

Rather than taking a tax refund check and splurging on a quick shopping spree, NerdWallet advises people make smart spending – or saving - plans.

  Customers question why complaints against pool company years to investigate

The only case that has been completed was dismissed by the North Carolina Licensing Board of General Contractors with no punitive action against the company.

  Cross-Charlotte Trail budget shortfall discussed months before public update

Voters have approved $38 million in bonds for the Cross-Charlotte Trail since 2014, including $5 million just this past November. Before last fall's vote staff knew the project had a major funding shortfall.

  NCGOP Chairman, others indicted in federal corruption probe

NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes, who spent a decade in Congress representing a district that stretched from the Charlotte area to Fayetteville, surrendered himself to authorities and made a first appearance at the US Courthouse in Charlotte on Tuesday.

  New lawsuit claims Union Co., Gaston Co. DSS negligent in Wanda Sue Larson abuse case

A new federal lawsuit claims officials at Union County Department of Social Services and the Gaston County Department of Social Services are responsible for abuse suffered by a boy who was found chained to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck at the home was Wanda Sue Larson in November 2013.

  Undercounting hate: FBI will not report its hate crime numbers again this year as required by law

The Uniform Crime Reporting Act of 1988 requires federal law enforcement agencies to submit information about their cases to a federal database maintained by the FBI; however, those agencies are currently not submitting data, including information about hate crimes.

  Charlotte area financial advisor faces claims of mismanaging investments

Clients of a well-known financial advisor in the Charlotte area claim he squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars by investing in a risky business.

  Former NC State Football player, sports agent pleads guilty to bribing college athletes

Eric Leak, a former football player at North Carolina State University in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s, pleaded guilty Friday to bribing college athletes to hire him as their professional sports agent.

  Financial assistance for Atrium patient stripped without notice

A statement from Atrium says they rolled out a new program to automate billing and financial assistance services. They waived the bills after WBTV got involved.

  Watching Your Wallet: Thousands of consumer complaints hidden in federal watchdog database

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides information about financial institutions, including complaints. But NerdWallet and InvestigateTV have found examples of complaints that don't show up in the database.

  Filing for NC-09 over with 10 Republican candidates, McCready sole Democrat

The election comes after the State Board of Elections voted unanimously in favor of a new election after a hearing on election fraud and absentee ballot tampering in Bladen County.

  Charlotte tow truck driver facing assault charges for two pepper spraying incidents

Court records show David Satterfield has 13 felony convictions as of 2017. Sixteen times he's been convicted of driving offenses including DWI and driving while his license is revoked.

  Charlotte tow truck driver admits to operating company without a driver’s license

WBTV started investigating David Satterfield and his company Automobile Recovery and Parking Enforcement after a tip to the WBTV Investigates line.

  Federal investigators seeking a decade’s worth of information, documents in NC-9 probe

Federal investigators are seeking documents dating back as far as the 2008 election, according to a copy of the grand jury subpoena sent to McCrae Dowless.

  Search warrants offer first details of NC-9 criminal investigation

Three search warrants were unsealed Wednesday, giving new details in the ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District and other races in Bladen County.

  Federal investigators issue subpoenas in NC-9 investigation

The Department of Justice has issued subpoenas for a federal grand jury investigation into allegations of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.