2019 Investigative Reporting (Smaller Staff) Finalist: Charlotte Observer Staff

Annie Ma and Fred Clasen-Kelly | The Charlotte Observer

“The Unexplained Resignation of Clayton Wilcox From Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools”

About the Entry

After the unexplained suspension and resignation of the superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district, Annie Ma and Fred Clasen-Kelly’s investigation uncovered questionable contracts and allegations of offensive comments made behind closed doors.

Comments from the Judges

“Annie and Fred started these stories with what should have been a simple question. But their reporting led them to more and more questions (and increasingly complicated ones). They are to be lauded for their commitment to chasing down answers to as many pieces as they possible could. The reporting that went in to trying to get a glimpse inside a frustratingly opaque process is remarkably thorough.​”

“Excellent work unpacking a glimpse into the life a superintendent led, his relationships, how it was affecting students and the lack of response or transparency of the district.”