Winners have been announced in the 2018 McCree Journalism Awards.
Action News 7 Investigative Reporter Heather Catallo, Videographer Johnny Sartin Jr. and Editor Randy Lundquist were recognized for their year-long investigative piece into corrupt lawyers and real estate agents. The report revealed how the probate court system was used to take property or collect thousands of dollars from the estate of deceased people.
- 7 Action News Investigation prompts probate law change, protects heirs
- Metro Detroit woman says probate guardianship case is tearing family apart
- Probate public officials terminated, resign after 7 Action News investigation
- Probate law changes prompted by 7 investigation move forward in Lansing
- Problems in probate
The WXYZ report prompted investigations by the FBI, county authorities and the Attorney Grievance Commission, as well as the ouster and resignation of three public officials involved. Catallo's reporting prompted new legislation in Lansing, and earlier this year, Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Acts 13 and 14 of 2018 into law.
The annual Wade H. McCree Advancement of Justice Awards – named after Judge Wade H. McCree, an advocate for equal rights and open and accountable government in Michigan – is in its 44th year, and recognizes journalism projects that examine, explain and expose problems and important issues in law enforcement and the legal system.
The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News also received awards.