Lee Higgins is an award-winning investigative reporter for The Journal News in White Plains, New York. He’s also a freelance writer who specializes in covering criminal justice issues.
His reporting on transcript fraud in college basketball prompted players to be kicked off NCAA Division I teams, Westchester Community College to cancel its men’s basketball season and sparked an NJCAA investigation into WCC going back years. Higgins exclusively obtained ATF records of Nancy Lanza’s gun buys and revealed a history of violations of federal gun laws at the store that sold the rifle used at Sandy Hook Elementary. He uncovered that University of Michigan waited six months to report child porn found in the pediatric emergency department at University of Michigan Hospital. It prompted the Board of Regents to override the university’s president, spend more than a half-million dollars for an external investigation and create a new police department. He published an article about a controversial decision by a local official to seek help from Hutaree and other militia members, just two days before the FBI conducted raids in three states and arrested nine Hutaree members. His investigation into the South Carolina Highway Patrol prompted the suspension of seven state police officers from three divisions. Higgins also exposed misconduct by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office. Higgins revealed how the FBI and federal prosecutors secretly used a radio show in a sting operation targeting politicians seeking the ultra-Orthodox bloc vote, but failed to disclose the show to defense lawyers at trial.
Higgins previously worked for Newsday, AnnArbor.com, The State and other outlets. He has won awards including a Top 10 award in the Associated Press Sports Editors national contest in the Investigative Reporting category and being named the best beat reporter in South Carolina in the South Carolina Press Association Awards.
He has freelanced for Agence France-Presse (AFP), Al Jazeera America, MSNBC.com, 100Reporters and other organizations.
Notable stories: The New York Jewish Communications Channel (NYJCC), Hutaree, Riverview Gun Sales, WCC basketball transcript fraud scandal, University of Michigan child porn scandal.
You can follow him on Twitter: @leehiggins