Scott Friedman Biography
Scott Friedman is an American journalist working as a Senior Investigative Reporter for NBC Investigates in KXAS-TV.
He leads the team that exposes critical safety concerns, uncovers government waste and holds officials accountable. His work has been featured on NBC Nightly News and Today on NBC. He attended the University of Notre Dame.
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Scott Friedman Career | Scott Friedman NBC Investigates | Scott Friedman KXAS-TV
He is the senior investigative reporter for KXAS-TV. Scott’s work has been recognized with honors including a Peabody Award, Five National Edward R. Murrow Awards, an Investigative Report and Editors (IRE) award, two national SPJ Sigma Delta Chi Awards and a national News and Documentary Emmy for outstanding regional investigative report.
His Peabody Award due to an investigation of financial troubles at Dallas County Schools (DCS) exposed a web of corruption, staggering financial mismanagement, hidden personal relationships, and conflicts of interest inside an agency that transported tens of thousands of children to school each day.
The Texas Legislature, governor and voters acted swiftly to close DCS and the superintendent who ran the agency pleaded guilty to accepting $3 million of bribes and kickbacks in exchange for government contracts. His team investigated care for injured, active duty U.S. Army soldiers, in partnership with The Dallas Morning News. for more than a year.
This series uncovered hundreds of complaints from injured troops describing mistreatment, harassment, verbal abuse and a lack of care from commanders of U.S. Army Warrior Transition Units (WTUs). After a few days of the report, the U.S. Army ordered new training for commanders of all 25 WTUs worldwide, aimed at better treating injured troops with dignity and respect.
The U.S. House Armed Services Committee also ordered a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation. Scott also carried out a nine-month-long investigation of crashes and injuries caused by police officers using dashboard mounted computers while driving led to changes in local police department policies, and became training material for law enforcement agencies across the country.
He joined KXAS-TV back in 2006 as a rep[orter and then later, he became an anchor. He used to anchor the station’s weekday morning newscast, NBC 5 Today.
He was part of the team that helped launch NBC Investigates back in 2012. While in WTMJ-TV(NBC) in Milwaukee, he was working as an investigative reporter. He also worked as a reporter at WNDU-TV (NBC) in South Bend, Indiana.
Breaking News Image (Scott Friedman) – 2013
Article by Scott Friedman
Even After Stealing From the Public, Ex-School Officials Keep Their Pensions
Rick Sorrells is a disgraced former school administrator, an admitted criminal, a soon-to-be resident of the federal prison system and, despite all of that, he is eligible to receive his full state pension.
Sorrells, who admitted taking $3 million in bribes in a scandal that destroyed the agency he once led, is facing a maximum 10 years behind bars for wire fraud.
But his pension is protected by Texas laws that allow the benefits to staying in place even if serious financial crimes have been committed, NBC 5 Investigates has learned.
That is different from other parts of the country — New York City, California, Oklahoma, Louisiana for example — where officials said pensions are stripped from school administrators who cheat taxpayers.
The Teacher Retirement System of Texas confirmed that Sorrells is a “retiree,” meaning he is already receiving his pension.
Under privacy rules, the TRS cannot release the amount Sorrells is currently receiving.
However, using the TRS pension formula, NBC 5 Investigates did the math and found that Sorrells — who made more than $200,000 a year as superintendent of Dallas County Schools — is likely eligible to receive a yearly pension of about $60,000.
The TRS confirmed that other school administrators continue to receive pensions even after committing serious crimes.
That includes Carolyn Foster, former chief financial officer for the Grand Prairie Independent School District, who was sentenced last year to three years in federal prison for embezzling $600,000 of taxpayer money.
Some of the cash was delivered to her in armored cars.
The federal judge who sentenced her made note of that and told her it was “…one of the worst cases, with the most amount of money I’ve seen, from a person in a position of trust.”
The TRS also confirmed former El Paso school superintendent Lorenzo Garcia continues to receive a pension, despite serving time in federal prison for manipulating student test scores which increased his performance bonus.
Garcia, who also steered a $450,000 contract to his girlfriend’s company, receives a pension of about $5,000 a month, court records show.
Foster declined an interview request when reached in prison by NBC 5 Investigates, and Garcia’s lawyer said his client would have nothing to say.
“They are violating every fiduciary responsibility, every moral responsibility, they have. And they should not be rewarded at the end of all of this with a pension,” said state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican.
During the last legislative session, Bettencourt helped pass a law that takes pensions from teachers convicted of sexual misconduct with students.
He said the same should happen to school administrators who swindle taxpayers.
“If you steal the money of this magnitude from the state — $600,000 embezzlement or take bribes of $3 million — you (should be) on your own,” Bettencourt said.
But Dallas lawyer Robert Clark, who is representing Sorrells in a civil case involving the financial crash of Dallas County Schools, said it would take a “glacial change in our society” to take pensions away from people like his client.
Clark said Sorrells is sorry for what happened but remains entitled to his pension because he put money into it each time he received his paychecks as superintendent of DCS while taxpayers only provided matching contributions.
Taking away a pension would also punish other people more than the person who committed the crime, the lawyer said.
“Well, if somebody has a wife and children, (with) expenses, do we want as a society… do we want the people to be on welfare? Do we want them to be on the public dole?” Clark said.
But former employees at DCS told NBC 5 Investigates they were disgusted that Sorrells continued to receive a pension, even though the crime he committed cost them their jobs and cut off the pensions they had hoped for.
“Sickening,” said Tim Jones, director of projects who had worked for DCS for 20 years.