Target 12 wins Murrow Award for ‘Where’s the Chief?’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Target 12 Investigators have been recognized for their months-long undercover investigation into the chief of the Coventry Fire District.

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) honored Target 12 with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting in the Small Market Television category.

The investigation, dubbed “Where’s the Chief?” uncovered questionable behavior by Chief Paul Labbadia.

Where's the Chief? See the Target 12 undercover investigation into Chief Labbadia »
Where’s the Chief? See the Target 12 undercover investigation into Chief Labbadia »

Labbadia was seen in undercover video leaving work in a taxpayer-funded department vehicle to go play golf for hours on end; drinking during the day, then driving the vehicle back to work; and even taking the vehicle to a party on Federal Hill, where he drank and appeared to smoke – and share – marijuana before getting behind the wheel.

As a result of the investigation, the district’s board voted unanimously to fire Labbadia in February.

The RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in journalism with the Murrow Award since 1971.

“Murrow’s pursuit of excellence in journalism embodies the spirit of the awards that carry his name,” they said of the legendary CBS broadcaster on their website.

All regional winners advance to the national competition, the winners of which are announced in June.

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