Publisher & Investigative Reporter
Dean Gray is a publisher, editor, writer, artist and community activist. He has been published in local newspapers, magazines and hometown journals since 1968.
Covering hyperlocal news and producing investigative reports has been his specialty since 2008, mostly focused on local government such as city councils, school and health districts and politics.
The product of Dean’s written work has been valuable in exposing government corruption and mismanagement as well uncovering illegal activities and exposing government secrets. Both broadcast news on radio and television, as well as the daily newspaper, followed-up on breaking news first published with his investigative reports.
The desert region in California centered around the Palm Springs region of the Coachella Valley and the nearby hi-desert of San Bernardino County lacked an alternative weekly newspaper. So, in 2008, Dean Gray founded an alt weekly news website, that soon spawned a newsprint tabloid focused on investigative reporting.
For four years Dean not only wrote over 200 original articles, but also served as publisher and at times as editor. He created eight jobs that never before existed and grew the business from ground zero to 20,000 peak circulation distributed to over 800 locations, and another 5,000 unique weekly readers of the website.
Dean Gray sold the business in April 2012 to a community newspaper group from Los Angeles and Orange County. In September 2012 Dean then started a new independent nonprofit news website, Desert Vortex News, exclusively devoted to investigative reporting plus Good Government Project, as a regional reporting aggregation.
Dean exercises his art and design creativity with websites via Scio Media and where he also serves as public relations consultant.
Dean’s discoveries, investigations and reporting include articles about:
- An abandoned construction site with toxic waste dump, which lead to clean-up.
- The release of millions of dollars of development bonds that left the city on the hook for millions of dollars to finish private development projects.
- An event promoter paid $250,000 in public funds to produce event that never happened.
- The use of public funds for the neighborhood stabilization program inflating costs by creating property improvement projects that cost more than resale value of the homes.
- The use of $1.4 million in public funds to purchase a building for the use as a community center that was found unfit for occupancy and too expensive to rehabilitate that was instead torn down leaving a vacant lot worth less than $100,000.
- A secret homeless shelter and crime wave in a residential neighborhood that lead to better facilities and a county funded homeless shelter in an appropriate location.
- A city council member who used his government position and unauthorized photographs to advertise himself on an Internet sex solicitation website.
- The connection of an unlicensed contractor and convicted felon awarded city contracts and his special relationship with city council members.
- A payment of $250,000 in public funds to an inexperienced builder who abandoned the project, leaving it in ruins.
- Examining the motives of a citizen’s group attempting to dismantle the local water district to have a foreign water district take over.
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