James Eli Shiffer | Star Tribune
Reporter | Editor

James Eli Shiffer covers government secrecy and public records, and writes the Full Disclosure column. He have worked as a team leader and reporter at the Star Tribune since 2005, focusing on investigations and the digital transformation of news. Before that, he spent 12 years at The News & Observer in Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina. He's a board member of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information. He's also the author of "The King of Skid Row," a 2016 book from the University of Minnesota Press about a vanished community in Minneapolis.


Hotel room bust of high-end prostitute leads to $20,000 windfall for Minn. police

Adrienne Chapa was arrested and spent a few days in jail before she went home to Las Vegas. Her bag of $24,425 in cash was here to stay.


History of gas line accidents in Minnesota since 1998

Before Wednesday’s explosion at Minnehaha Academy, gas distribution lines have experienced at least 41 major accidents in Minnesota since 2004, federal data show. The most…


Archive specialist rescues Minnesota history, page by yellowed page

Charlie Rodgers’ business card carries his bone-dry title: “Government records specialist.” The reality is more like this: Exploring dank basements and forgotten storage areas; opening…


Minnesota veterans of the CIA's 'secret war' seek an honorable burial

A Brooklyn Park veteran of the CIA's "secret war" has been stymied by the federal government's refusal to hand over classified documents about its proxy army, or even acknowledge that they exist.


Minnesota voter list is a public record, after all

President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission ignited a bipartisan backlash when it asked states for a list of every registered voter, including birth dates and…


Painful as it could be, some files must be made public

Some fear this case could mark the end of Minnesota's laudable openness about how its law officers investigate crime.


Big ideas for open government fall short at Legislature

Transparency advocates had grand plans for improving public access to government information in Minnesota this legislative session. One proposal would have stopped the mass…


At U.S. State Department, ground rules for official anonymity

– The weather was sweltering on the sidewalks of the U.S. Capitol last week, so the State Department officials walked outside the massive…


Inside one woman's fight to expose Minn. health care investigations

Sheila Van Pelt's yearslong campaign underscores the enormous challenges facing everyday citizens in an era when powerful interest groups push laws that ensure greater levels of secrecy.


Growing police tech arsenal watches criminals, citizens

Law enforcement agencies have more tools to gather information than ever before. Laws safeguarding that data and guaranteeing public access to it are failing to keep up.