Updated On: Feb 17 2012 11:59:35 AM CST
Peabody Award winning investigative reporter Stephen Dean has been exposing abuses of power and government missteps since 1984.
His in-depth reporting has exposed countless episodes of wrongdoing and shady dealings, including those by judges and other elected officials. Two have been removed from office after Dean reported on their tactics that targeted innocent people. One was indicted and arrested after running from Local 2 cameras.
Deploying hidden cameras unlike anyone else, Dean and the Local 2 Investigates team consistently expose secrets in a way that gets results. His January 2011 reports led to calls for Congressional hearings in Washington after he exposed TSA screeners allowing hundreds of bags into secure areas of airports nationwide.
In February 2011, the Washington Post reported that police scrapped a plan to use unmanned drones over Houston because of Dean's reporting. His hidden camera teams exposed a secret police test of the drones that remains a viral hit online.
His other digging with the controversies and inner-workings of the Houston Police Department is unmatched. In August 2010, he was alone in reporting on seven HPD officers removed from a traffic investigation class amid cheating allegations. Other reporters were also unable to catch up when he reported in late 2010 that police were using mentally ill prisoners to practice drawing blood for DWI arrests. The Mayor ditched that plan after Dean's reports.
The highest honor in broadcasting, the Peabody Award, recognized his series of reports that forever changed how the U. S. military investigates crimes. His reporting documented how the armed services were ignoring crucial evidence in crimes against their own soldiers, prompting Congress to force changes with a law that was signed by the President.
On the air in Houston since 1995, Dean's investigative reporting led to the dismantling of an entire police force. Shady characters were spotted with badges all around Houston and Dean traced them to one wealthy citizen, who had found a legal loophole allowing him to create a fully licensed police department. When Dean's reports hit the airwaves, a grand jury convened to consider criminal charges, the police force was required to disband, and the Texas Legislature responded by closing the loophole that allowed it to happen.
Other national investigative reporting honors include the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award and the coveted Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio, Television News Directors Association.
In 2005, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters awarded Dean statewide "Best Reporter" honors for his colorful and dramatic live coverage of breaking news. The same group named him the sole winner of its "Freedom of Information Award" four years in a row for his ability to overcome obstacles in digging through public records. He also won the State Bar of Texas "Gavel Award" for five years in a row for his legal reporting.
News junkies know that Dean is consistently breaking stories on his Twitter feed, often blasting information from inside courtrooms or the scenes of Houston's biggest unfolding stories.
On Facebook, his latest hidden camera reports are highlighted, along with updates on new action with stories he's broken in the past.
Dean has been a nationally published author since writing two groundbreaking books on Internet secrets and culture. His third book, "PR Misfires Under the Gun" was released on Kindle in February 2011, detailing costly public relations mistakes that big shots and officials make during emergencies.
Dean joined the staff of KPRC Local 2 in February 2001. He has been married to the love of his life since 1997. He enjoys trail-riding on horseback with his friends, traveling with his wife, and riding his Harley.