Russ Ptacek, Investigative Reporter - Washington, DC - WUSA9
WASHINGTON, DC - Award winning Investigative Reporter Russ Ptacek's probes have prompted Congressional hearings, and sparked reform at state and federal agencies.
He speaks at national journalism conferences as an expert on forensic analysis of social media posts, the art of interviewing, and Freedom of Information Act requests.
He's also exposed millions in unreported government bonuses, race biased taxis, and restaurant health risks. His web analyses have identified smartphone privacy risks & exposed a politician who stalked teens online.
Follow Washington DC Investigative Reporter Russ Ptacek at http://Facebook.com/russptacek orhttp://Twitter.com/russptacek.
Since arriving at WUSA9 In 2012, Ptacek has sparked debate in three separate
Congressional hearings, exposed Pepco and BGE continuing to bill disconnected
electrical consumers services while they were disconnected during storms, and uncovered serious health risks at dozens of DMV restaurants.
His investigation into DC cabs identified cabs refusing to travel to some neighborhoods and completing ignoring black passengers while picking up white passengers a hundred feet away
Ptacek has roots in the area as a graduate of Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, VA, but grew up in Pratt, KS. prior to moving to Northern Virginia with his family in the early 80's.
Ptacek is a graduate of the University of Kansas, and before returning to Washington, D.C. as an investigative reporter at WUSA9, he established himself with two decades of award winning experience as a reporter in local
and and on-air contributor and producer for network and syndicated news programs.
The GSA, CDC, EPA, and National Nuclear Security Administration have launched their own probes and politicians have resigned in the wake of Ptacek's investigations.
His review of 40,000 FOIA documents and interviews with hundreds of sick workers identified toxins and deaths at a secret nuclear bomb part plant.
He's also recognized for forensic Internet investigations. One exposed a victim's nude photos on a politician's Photobucket account while another went viral with more than 8 million YouTube hits exposing privacy risks on smartphones.
As a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors, he is asked to lecture on a regular basis both regionally and nationally on the topics of government watchdog programs and forensic internet investigations.
A federal agency at the center of one investigation paid a public relations firm $234,000 to answer questions raised by Ptacek's reports. The spending of taxpayer dollars to hire a PR firm sparked another Ptacek investigation and, ultimately, a congressional investigation.
One man Ptacek tried to interview pulled a gun instead of answering his questions, another rammed Ptacek and the photographer with his electric wheelchair. Ptacek also witnessed a photographer who survived a direct hit from a passing car on a dark street while shooting a story.
Russ began his career in Lawrence as a student reporter on University of Kansas radio station KJHK where he was news director and the host of a news talk show. While still a student at KU, Topeka CBS affiliate WIBW hired Russ as a part-time reporter. He continued his role at the station while attending class.
WIBW then offered Russ a full-time spot as the morning and noon anchor. While at WIBW, Russ' reporting and investigative skills were recognized repeatedly with regional and national awards. His work also received attention from the networks where frequently contributed on-air reports.
He left WIBW to found an internationally recognized news agency, News TV Corporation. Russ's firm provided consulting, research, reporting and producing services to network news organizations like CBS, NBC, CNN, and the BBC. He sold the firm in 2001 and returned to the University of Kansas to finish his degree. After graduating at KU, Russ studied and lived in Germany prior to returning to Kansas City to report for NBC Action News.
Ptacek left NBC Action News to return to the Washington area and join 9 News Now as investigative reporter in the 9 Wants to Know unit.