As traditional media outlets downsize or go out of business, the work of researching and reporting the news is now being done by fewer and fewer people. And as newsrooms look for places to make budget cuts, it wouldn't be surprising if investigative reporting was among the first casualties. 
And yet, investigative research and reporting continues to be among the necessities for a free people who otherwise must implicitly trust that their government is behaving in their best interests. 

As a result, the Independence Institute is pleased to present "Independence Investigates," our very own watchdog reporting page, where you will find reports on waste, corruption and fraud in local and state government. 

If you have something that you feel ought to be investigated by reporter Todd Shepherd and the Independence Institute, please email:

Complete Colorado Website About Todd Shepherd






April 22nd, 2012
by Todd Shepherd It’s natural to assume when a state employee gets a promotion, there’s a raise that goes along with it; greater responsibilities usually correspond with greater rewards. However, when a state employee is demoted or moved to a job with less responsibilities, a statutory rule also allows the worker to keep their previous [...]
April 19th, 2012
The tragedy of the Lower North Fork fire has sent many TV stations and papers scrambling to review call logs and tapes from the Jefferson County Emergency Telephone Authority (which also serves Broomfield County). However, 911 emergency telephone authorities (ETAs) have never received much scrutiny, especially where financials are concerned. Also, ETA’s work on the [...]
April 17th, 2012
By Todd Shepherd Unlike previous Colorado governors, John Hickenlooper hasn’t offered any legislation or policy theme (think Ritter and green energy) as being the signature effort or achievement of his administration. Even his “signature” policy effort thus far is called, somewhat ironically, “To Be Determined.” There’s seemingly little that he has put his full [...]
April 9th, 2012
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Energy (DOE) has released numerous documents relating to the $400-million in DOE guaranteed loans to Abound Solar. Previous reports said the DOE and Abound were declining to release the documents because of “proprietary reasons.” ¬†However, many redactions have still been made to the documents [...]
March 7th, 2012
A covert audit of a third-party commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing facility found so many faults, 126 truck drivers had to be retested in order to keep their CDL driving privileges. The testing facility, located in Kit Carson County, has been forced to close. An email between officials in the state Department of Revenue (DOR) [...]
November 17th, 2011
Independence Investigates has obtained all of the criminal background records for the 20 individuals arrested in he past weekend during ‘Occupy Denver’ protests. Four of the individuals have significant criminal backgrounds. Eleven of the twenty have no criminal record at all, excepting any arrest for their activities regarding ‘Occupy Denver.’ Michael Corey Donahue has [...]
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February 11th, 2016
As you probably guessed from the long absence after my last post about two abominable “snowbills,” I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in the shiny hallways of the Colorado Capitol talking about the importance of choice and accountability. Today, I’d like to take a break from politics and get back to policy. We’re [...]