Scripps Washington Bureau hires investigative reporter from WXYZ in Detroit

Tue, September 01, 2015 by Valerie Miller

CINCINNATI – Ross Jones, an experienced investigative journalist from WXYZ, the Detroit ABC affiliate of The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP), is joining the Scripps Washington Bureau as an investigative correspondent, effective Oct. 5.

Jones’ award-winning work exposed corruption and waste at all levels of government, sent public officials to prison and into hiding, and spurred multiple FBI investigations.

His most recent work, a yearlong series probing the systemic failures of Michigan’s mental health system, prompted unprecedented legislation designed to drastically reform the state’s mental health code.

His investigations into corruption and waste inside Wayne County spurred a series of indictments and firings, and helped reshape county government. The years-long investigative series, "Wayne County Confidential: Government Run Amok,” earned WXYZ and Jones the prestigious duPont-Columbia award.

“Ross is a fantastic addition to our national investigative team,” said Ellen Weiss, vice president and Washington bureau chief. “His tenacity and relentless commitment to getting at the truth has prompted major reform. We anticipate more enterprise investigations as Ross takes his skills to the national level.”

Ross was the first to report on a slew of secret funds used—and often abused—by elected officials throughout Michigan, including former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s "Civic Fund," Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano’s "EDGE Fund" and Governor Rick Snyder’s "NERD Fund." All three funds have either been disbanded or completely reformed.

Jones' reports exposing State Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway's mortgage fraud led to a grand jury investigation and, ultimately, her criminal conviction. She was sentenced to one year in prison.

“We are extremely fortunate that Ross Jones is joining our team,” said Lawan Hamilton, executive producer for Scripps National Investigations. “He is a natural watchdog and will be a great asset to our team to help expose corruption and hold officials accountable in Washington.”

Ross Jones is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he earned a degree in journalism.

About Scripps The E.W. Scripps Company serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of television, radio and digital media brands. Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners, with 33 television stations in 24 markets and a reach of nearly one in five U.S. households. It also owns 34 radio stations in eight markets. Scripps also runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses, including podcast industry leader Midroll Media, over-the-top video news service Newsy and weather app developer WeatherSphere. Scripps also produces television shows including The List and The Now, runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and serves as the long-time steward of the nation’s largest, most successful and longest-running educational program, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

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