James McNair

Investigative Reporter/KyCIR

James McNair is a veteran investigative reporter who specializes in business and finance issues.

McNair has spent nearly 30 years in journalism, having worked as a staff reporter for the Miami Herald and the Cincinnati Enquirer, among other newspapers.

His reporting has unearthed fraudulent schemes and unethical business practices, as well as numerous swindles and scams. He most recently worked as an independent researcher for a hedge fund.

An Army brat, McNair moved frequently, but graduated high school outside Fort Campbell, Ky. He served three years in the Army himself and later earned a B.A. of Journalism from the University of Kentucky.

McNair has also written for CityBeat in Cincinnati, where he chronicled the off-field problems of a major league pitcher and testing discrepancies at a local high school.

He has won numerous state and local journalism awards.


Local News
6:59 am
Fri October 24, 2014

State Rep. Jim Wayne Proposes Kentucky Pension Transparency Changes

Kentucky state Capitol building
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

In response to the Kentucky state pension plan’s willingness to pay hefty fees for billions of dollars in investments it can’t publicly disclose, one state representative said Thursday he is introducing a bill to make pensions subject to state open-access laws.

Read more
9:25 am
Wed October 22, 2014

A Powerful Nursing Home Owner and a Push For Medical Review Panels in Kentucky

Forcht Group CEO Terry Forcht, seated in the front row, takes notes as the Kentucky House Health & Welfare Committee hears debate in March 2012 about a medical review panel bill. Paducah trial lawyer Gary Schaaf, front, argues against the bill.

Nestled on a hillside above Perry County Central High School, the Hazard Health & Rehabilitation Center was unlike any home Mae Campbell ever had.

There, on separate occasions in 2009, two male residents sexually abused the now 91-year-old widow and Alzheimer’s patient, once within sight of a nursing supervisor. The state said the nursing home “failed to protect” its residents from roving sexual predators in their midst. The home and its administrator were spared a criminal trial by paying a $20,000 fine.

Read more
Local News
3:47 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Former Residents Accuse Kentucky Mobile Home Park Operator of Improper Evictions, Seizures

Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

Sixteen current and former residents of mobile home parks owned by SSK Communities in Kentucky have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing SSK of a self-enrichment scheme of evicting residents, seizing their trailers and renting them to new tenants.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Jefferson County Circuit Court, alleges that SSK’s eviction and water-billing practices violate several state laws, including the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act. It asks the court to stop SSK from refusing to renew leases to “force a resident to sacrifice their home.”

Read more
11:35 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Anchorage Has Kentucky's Highest Income—and Tight Pockets When it Comes to Politics

Credit Wikimedia Commons

A recent report on politics and money shows that the city of Anchorage, with the state’s highest median household income, is pretty thrifty when it comes to making political contributions.

Read more
Local News
8:00 am
Mon September 22, 2014

State Again Cites Jefferson County Mobile Home Park For Untreated Sewage

A manhole cover leaks untreated sewage onto the ground at Ashley Pointe Mobile Home Park in Louisville.
Credit Alix Mattingly/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

For the third time since last summer, the state Division of Water has cited the owner of a southwest Jefferson County mobile home park for letting untreated sewage escape from a manhole into a public stream.

This time, the agency isn’t taking a denial for an answer. It referred the matter to the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Enforcement.

Read more
10:54 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Kentucky Community College Top Job Draws 40 Applicants. (Just Don't Ask Who.)

Credit File photo

Sometime after Nov. 1, the Kentucky Community & Technical College System will name a new president to succeed the retiring Michael McCall. But only a group of insiders knows who’s in the running.

The application deadline passed nearly two months ago, on July 25. With the help of an outside search agency, the Association of Community College Trustees, a 16-person search committee expects to narrow the field of applicants to just a few finalists next month. KCTCS Chairman P.G. Peeples, co-chairman of the search committee, said he is pleased with the progress being made.

Read more
Local News
1:31 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Kentucky Retirement Systems to Provide More Detail on 'Alternative' Investments

Tommy Elliot, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Executive Director Bill Thielen listen to a presentation during the meeting of Kentucky Retirement Systems on May 15, 2014.

Kentucky Retirement Systems, which runs the $16 billion pension and health care funds for state, city and county workers and retirees, will be providing more detail about the fees it pays to the managers of its so-called “alternative” investments.

Read more
7:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Sewage, Stench Plague a Louisville Mobile Home Park, Bringing Scrutiny for Well-Connected Owner

A manhole cover leaks untreated sewage onto the ground and into Pond Creek.
Credit Alix Mattingly/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Industrial sprawl gives way to a more bucolic backdrop below the Gene Snyder Freeway west of Interstate 65. Here, Metro Louisville consists of shady lanes and open land, exactly what people want when they move to Ashley Pointe Mobile Home Park on Penile Road.

For $320 a month in lot rent, residents get the bare minimum of amenities. No tennis courts or clubhouse here, no lush landscaping. What makes Ashley Pointe unique hangs in the air, the sometimes lingering odor of untreated human waste.

Read more
Local News
4:45 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Louisville Water Co. Fined $84,000 For 'Willful' Disregard of Safety Laws

Credit Wikipedia Commons

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has cited Louisville Water Co. for violating trench-safety laws for the third time in four years, this time issuing a $84,000 fine for what the state agency called a “willful” disregard of the law.

The citations stem from a fire hydrant replacement job on Leman Drive on Jan. 16. An inspector for the Labor Cabinet, which enforces Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health laws, noted that workers were in a trench nearly 6½ feet deep with no wall cave-in protection and an insufficient ladder.

Read more
Local News
4:57 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

That Home Rental Posting on Craigslist? It May Not Be Real.

For all the incessant warnings about send-money-now, get-goods-later scams on Craigslist and other websites, online con artists just won’t quit.

So I learned as I shopped Craigslist on June 7 for a place to rent. One listing caught my eye, that of a fully furnished four-bedroom, two-story house in Belknap for $1,500 a month. The interior photos looked great. “WiFi and AT&T cable throughout the house. Sleeps 8-10 people comfortably,” the ad said.

Read more