Jody returns home to the Carolinas, joining Queen City News in June 2021. Born and raised in Hartsville, SC, Jody attended the University of South Carolina’s journalism school and started working in the Myrtle Beach-Florence market at WBTW’s Lumberton, NC bureau in 2006.
Months later, Jody was promoted to senior reporter and investigator for WBTW’s headquarters in Myrtle Beach. While in Myrtle Beach Jody broke investigations into the state’s failures to ensure sex offenders were tracked after their release from prison and the attempted cover up of a distemper outbreak at the Horry County Animal Shelter that led to dozens of dogs being euthanized – even after being adopted to families.
In June 2009, Jody joined WIS TV in Columbia as the station’s investigative reporter. While there, Jody led the station’s investigative unit, worked as Raycom Media’s State House reporter turning reports for stations in SC, NC, and GA, and broke more than 100 investigations into public corruption from state and local officials.
The South Carolina Association of Broadcasters awarded Jody its 2013 South Carolina Reporter of the Year, the association’s highest honor for a broadcast reporter, and the state’s best investigative reporter award in 2013 for an investigative series that uncovered a sheriff, senator, and Lexington City Councilman’s ties to an illegal video gaming ring operating out of Lexington County.
Jody’s 2013 investigation into then-SC House Speaker Bobby Harrell’s campaign finance spending ended with the former Speaker resigning from office in 2016 and pleading guilty to six counts of misusing campaign funds for his personal benefit.
In June 2014 Jody accepted a promotion to lead Raycom Media’s investigative efforts at WIS TV’s sister station in Cincinnati. During Jody’s three-year run there, he uncovered dozens of government waste and corruption investigations and exposed a county sheriff’s failure to secure evidence in the state’s largest unsolved murder investigation where eight members of a family were murdered in a single night.
Jody’s work in Ohio also exposed a fire chief’s fabrication of fire and CPR training records, a welding company’s use of fraudulent welding certifications on taxpayer-funded construction projects, and the city of Cincinnati’s failures to collect $13 million in taxpayer loans from businesses that never repaid the loans.
In July 2017, Jody accepted an investigative reporter position at Nexstar’s NBC affiliate in Austin, TX. Jody’s first TX investigation uncovered 60 TX cities’ failure to follow state law before installing red-light cameras and using the cameras to collect more than $500 million in fines. That investigation led to the TX legislature imposing a statewide red light camera ban during the 2019 session and the governor signed the ban bill into law a month later.
Jody’s work in TX also uncovered the chair of the Texas Railroad Commission’s – the state’s oil and gas regulatory body – financial ties to energy companies she regulates. Jody’s investigation uncovered mineral interests belonging to the chairwoman, Christy Craddick, and her father, Rep. Tom Craddick, on oil wells the pair benefited from financially. That investigation led to Jody and his team being awarded the 2019 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism at the National Press Club in Washington, DC in 2019.
While in TX, Jody won two Emmy awards, was an Investigative Reporters and Editors Medalist Finalist, won multiple Headliners Foundation awards, a Society of Professional Journalists First Amendment Award winner, and a 2020 Edward R. Murrow Award for exposing how TX police officers accused of crimes use their badges to avoid prison.
Before working in news, Jody worked as a chassis fabricator and welder building Late Model Stock Cars at two racing shops in Florence, SC. Jody worked on a NASCAR Busch Series team based in Timmonsville, SC in 2003 and 2004. From 1998 through 2008, Jody owned and raced street stocks and built his own late model stock car, and raced at local asphalt tracks in NC, SC, VA, TN, and GA.
Jody’s passion is exposing government corruption and government officials who waste taxpayer dollars and always welcomes tips. In his free time, Jody enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, welding, working on his ’67 GMC truck, learning to play a Telecaster like Waylon Jennings and a fiddle like Jason Roberts, and running down the next news investigation.