It started with one story on WXYZ about a small government contract dispute. By the end, this relentlessly reported series uncovered widespread government corruption, lawlessness and ineptitude inside Michigan’s largest county. This is watchdog reporting at its best that has had a significant impact: five federal criminal charges, two guilty pleas, five firings, four resignations, one recall effort and an ongoing FBI probe. The stories served as a road map for how official corruption starts and spreads through lies and cover-ups. Eventually, a number of elected officials were forced out of office. This series performed an important public service in a county facing bankruptcy.