Michigan Radio reporter Sarah Cwiek has been selected as a winner of the 2021 Wade H. McCree Advancement of Justice Award, sponsored by the Michigan Press Association Foundation.
Cwiek was recognized for her investigation “Tax foreclosure lawsuit asks: How much can government take from property owners?”
The story shows how citizens, especially those at risk of foreclosure, don’t understand how the process works and how easy it can be to lose their home if they owe back taxes. It looks at how counties and the state could foreclose and auction off homes with property tax debts, and keep the surplus if they sell the property for more than the homeowner owed.
The McCree Awards recognize Michigan journalists who foster greater public understanding of our legal system, with reporting that can change and improve the legal and law enforcement systems. The awards were determined by a panel of four judges, representing law and media, who independently reviewed ten entries from across Michigan
Other winners of 2021 McCree Journalism Awards were reporter Nancy Kaffer of the Detroit Free Press for an in-depth investigation “She’s tormented by final days’ unexplained death of little sisters in Harper Woods Jail,” and reporter Chandra Bozelko of the Holland Sentinel for her columns “Insider takes on Prisons and Courts.”
The McCree awards are named for Judge Wade H. McCree, one of the most distinguished lawyers and jurists in Michigan history and an advocate for equal rights and open, accountable government.