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Mike Mather is an Emmy-winning and Murrow-winning investigative reporter.

In his 25-year career, he has reported nationally and internationally for NewsChannel 3, The Daily Press, The Virginian-Pilot, CBS News, and The New York Times. His stories have earned dozens of journalism awards, including a Pulitzer nomination.

Career highlights:

-Proved Norfolk city leaders were not telling the full truth about the death of a police recruit. The city’s police chief later lost his job.

-Tracked down a murderous fugitive in Russia and secured the man’s return to the United States. He was convicted.

-Exposed a broken system that allowed a Norfolk auctioneer to repeatedly pocket clients’ money, without consequences. Mike’s story led to a state investigation and felony charges.

-Gained a pardon for a man wrongfully convicted of rape.

-Revealed how the FBI lost control of secret evidence in the Colonial Parkway serial murders, leading the agency to re-open the cases.

-Uncovered fatal mistakes in Virginia Beach’s foster-care system that led to the death of a child. The state launched an investigation because of Mike’s stories, and the director resigned.

Mike is one of the only journalists in the nation to graduate from a police academy and SWAT academy, where he got an inside look at how officers are selected and trained. He and his wife Elizabeth have four boys, including triplets. One of Mike’s triplets, Owen, has Cerebral Palsy. Mike helped found a charity running team in Virginia Beach dedicated to including disabled children in athletic events. Mike is also a volunteer instructor for Wintergreen Adaptive Sports, where he helps teach people with disabilities, including his son, to ski or snowboard.

Mike was born and raised in Virginia Beach but now lives in the Ghent section of Norfolk. He enjoys running, photography, snowboarding and volleyball, and he is a private pilot. He and several NewsChannel 3 colleagues sometimes pool their musical talents to play in a band. Mike plays guitar.

Follow him on Twitter, @mikemather

Recent Articles
  • Westboro Baptist Church members planning protest in Kill Devil Hills

    Kill Devil Hills, NC – Jessen Howard is done with his AP exams, and his time at First Flight High School. He spent his first period today studying Westboro Baptist Church, trying to figure out why the group would be protesting at his school in Kill Devil Hills. “Actually, the stuff they have written online is what we read up on. Our school is located on Veterans Drive. They don’t like veterans. We’re in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. They […]

  • FOIA requests to police sometimes denied improperly

    A review of thousands of police replies to citizens seeking public records shows most Hampton Roads departments follow the law, even if they only release the minimum required.

  • Chesapeake: No police video; here’s your bill

    Chesapeake, Va. – The Chesapeake City Attorney’s Office routinely denies public-records requests for police officers’ body-camera videos, and then sends a bill for the staff time spent researching and denying the request. The city sends the bills even when there was no video recorded, according to more than 200 public-records responses from the Chesapeake City Attorney’s Office. An assistant city attorney said the agency always denies requests when the video is part of a criminal investigation, might invade someone’s privacy, or involves […]

  • Chesapeake bills citizens after denying requests to see body camera footage

    A review of roughly 300 open-records requests filed with the Chesapeake City Attorney's Office last year shows in all body-camera cases, the city refused to release the video. And nearly all of the letters ended like this: "Attached you will find a bill."

  • Course helps officers discover and suppress hidden bias

    Virginia Beach, Va. – Police officers from around the region have spent the week in a special course to help them identify their hidden biases, and to ensure those biases don’t affect their fairness as officers. The course, called “Fair and Impartial Policing,” explores the subtle reasons, usually developed over lifetimes, that explain why people make subtle judgments about others. The course doesn’t explore obvious faults like racism, said Norfolk officer Melinda Wray, but biases that may center around age, […]

  • Inconsistent record keeping permeates volunteers’ emergency reports

    In the past few years, a tornado has sliced the Oceanfront, a Navy jet slammed into an apartment complex, and hurricanes have battered Virginia Beach. During that time, the city's volunteer Community Emergency Response Team reported 47 "activations" to the state. But when NewsChannel 3 asked for details of those activations, the list the city provided did not include any of those emergencies.

  • Norfolk’s citizen emergency team responded to no emergencies

    Norfolk has spent more than $100,000 worth of grant money in the past five years training and equipping a team of volunteers to help themselves and neighbors in emergencies and disasters. But in the past several years, the city hasn't used the team for any kind of emergency.

  • “Emergency Response Team” responds to no emergencies

    Norfolk, Va. – Norfolk’s Community Emergency Response Team — a group of specially trained citizens — has spent more than $100,000 in the past five years but, according to a NewsChannel 3 investigation, has responded to no emergencies. NewsChannel 3 started asking questions about Norfolk’s CERT because it was the only one in the region to report no emergency activations to the state’s emergency-management division. At the same time Norfolk CERT tallied the region’s third-highest amount of grant money. Our investigation found out there were […]

  • Small veterans’ charity sued for “unfair competition” by Wounded Warrior Project

    The founder of a small Pennsylvania charity helping wounded warriors in that state says the group has spent more than $72,000 defending a lawsuit from the Wounded Warrior Project over their similar logos. “We’re out of pocket a lot of money and I am sure they are out of pocket a lot of money,” said Paul Spurgin, the director of Keystone Wounded Warriors and a Marine who served two combat tours in Vietnam. The issue is the similarity of the […]

  • How does the Wounded Warrior Project spend its donations?

    The Wounded Warrior Project’s top executive says his charity has been unfairly saddled with lower grades from two top charity watchdogs in part because of the Florida-based charity’s high executive salaries and high fundraising costs.

  • Grammar goof or clues in a crime?

    In several interviews with television stations and on an Internet podcast, the adoptive father of missing college student AJ Hadsell repeatedly spoke of her in the past tense, even though no one at the time knew she was dead.

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    Conflict of interest sparks search for outside judge in Virginia Beach bank robbery case

    A crucial hearing for a pair of accused bank robbers also charged with shooting a state trooper ground to an unexpected halt this morning in Virginia Beach when all the lower-court judges declined to hear the case.


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