Corey G. Johnson

Investigative reporter, Tampa Bay Times

Corey Johnson is a reporter on the investigative unit at the Tampa Bay Times, one of FRONTLINE's inaugural Local Journalism Initiative partners.

While working at the Center for Investigative Reporting, he uncovered systemic weaknesses in earthquake protections at thousands of California public schools. That work was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the prestigious Gold Medal from the Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Scripps Howard Award for Public Service, and the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism.

His expose of California’s illegal and coerced sterilizations of imprisoned women spurred legislative hearings, a state audit, several criminal investigations and the creation of a law banning the practice. It was recently turned into a movie called Belly of the Beast.

While at the Marshall Project, Corey and Ken Armstrong’s investigation of the harsh sentencing of juveniles triggered the release of a Baton Rouge man who was imprisoned for life for throwing a single punch in childhood fight.

More recently, Corey’s stories have prompted the discovery of dangerous amounts of lead in the drinking water of Florida schools and kickstarted the FBI’s investigation of a local religious leader.

Corey is from Atlanta, GA and is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Fl.

County Cautions Public About High Lead Around Tampa Factory
Government monitoring devices around Gopher Resource measured lead levels well above federal air-quality standards.
February 20, 2022
Tampa Lead Factory Faces $518,000 Fine for Environmental Violations
The proposed penalty would be the largest in the history of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission.
January 22, 2022
A Tampa Lead Factory Hurt Workers. Here’s How to Avoid a Repeat.
Experts say the solutions could include adding new reporting requirements and increasing the frequency of inspections.
December 24, 2021
Regulators to Step Up Monitoring of Tampa Lead Factory
A county in Florida plans to increase testing around Gopher Resource’s lead factory and use a new, randomized schedule following a Tampa Bay Times report.
December 11, 2021
POISONED: Part 3: The Fallout
Gopher Resource promised changes at Tampa’s old lead factory. It kept polluting. Records show the company pumped lead into the air and mishandled hazardous waste.
December 2, 2021
OSHA Fines Tampa Lead Factory $319,000
The lead smelter was the subject of a recent Tampa Bay Times investigation.
September 30, 2021
Public Health Officials Urge Lower Lead Limits
The American Public Health Association is pushing for sweeping changes to the federal rules designed to keep lead workers safe after a Tampa Bay Times investigation into a Florida lead smelter.
September 29, 2021
Cadmium Spiked Inside a Tampa Lead Factory. Workers Didn’t Get Help.
For years, the company’s contracted doctor failed to flag abnormal test results and provide the required follow-up.
September 23, 2021
Federal Lawmakers Call for Penalties for Tampa Lead Factory
Regulators, prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation, found Gopher Resource ran afoul of environmental standards.
July 10, 2021
Tampa Lead Factory Ran Afoul of Environmental Standards, Report Finds
The inquiry was spurred by a Tampa Bay Times investigation into hazardous conditions at the plant.
July 1, 2021
Tampa Lead Factory Gets Credit Downgrade
An ongoing federal probe, prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation, was a key factor in the decision, the credit-rating agency said.
June 29, 2021
Former Worker Sues Tampa Lead Smelter Over Son’s Exposure
The worker alleges dusty conditions at Gopher Resource, Florida’s only lead factory, resulted in his son’s lead exposure.
June 2, 2021