Hilary Niles

Freelance Investigative Reporter

Hilary is an independent investigative reporter, data journalism consultant and researcher based in Montpelier. She specializes in telling stories of how public policy shapes people's daily lives. 

Hilary's radio work has been featured on WBUR's Here and Now and the Public Radio Exchange's Station Showcase. She earned a Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi award for excellence in 2013 for her research with Investigative Reporting Workshop founder Charles Lewis, of American University. 

Before moving to Vermont in 2013, Hilary studied in the graduate program at the Missouri School of Journalism, where she worked at Investigative Reporters and Editors. She previously graduated from the University of New Hampshire and Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, and served as founding program director at Portsmouth Community Radio in New Hampshire. 

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Six new and aspiring businesses made their case to a group of motorcycle-riding investors and entrepreneurs at Green Mountain Harley-Davidson in Essex Junction Monday morning as part of the fourth annual "Road Pitch" tour of Vermont.
Road Pitch, Courtesy

A group of investors has been traveling Vermont on motorcycles this week to get pitched by local entrepreneurs with varying approaches who are looking for money and advice.

Fresh on the heels of Raymond James Financial’s $150 million dollar settlement with Jay Peak Resort, owner Ariel Quiros has responded to related allegations. 

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Ray Pronto’s story starts simple enough. He left his hometown of Newport and landed in Pennsylvania, in the Pittsburgh area, where he founded a business in title insurance and loan closings. The company grew — a lot.  

Hilary Niles / VPR

The firm Raymond James & Associates has agreed to pay $150 million as part of a settlement announced by state officials late Thursday.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

One year ago, federal and state prosecutors brought securities fraud charges against Jay Peak developers Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger for misusing funds raised through the federal EB-5 immigrant investment program.

Now, the man appointed to run the resorts says he’s close to announcing a deal that will affect everyone involved in the case.

The Tram Haus Lodge at Jay Peak was one project invested in by foreign investors through the EB-5 program. In an Aug. 14 letter, the federal government said it plans to shut down the "Vermont Regional Center" that oversees the EB-5 program.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

This week marks the one year anniversary of federal and state fraud charges brought against Jay Peak. Now one of the resort’s original investors has added a new twist to the ongoing legal saga: He has filed charges against, Saint-Sauveur Valley Resorts, the owner of Jay Peak’s former parent company, Mont Saint-Sauveur International (MSSI).

Hilary Niles, file

The public’s right to access government information is firmly enshrined in Vermont law. And while there are successes, citizens also find little consistency or reliability among state agencies who control access to public records. 

Tony Sutton, an EB-5 investor, is suing the State of Vermont for being complicit in multi-million-dollar fraud allegedly perpetrated by those in charge of Jay Peak.
Lisa Rathke / AP

Tony Sutton, the British car dealer who pieced together suspicions about Jay Peak’s immigrant-funded EB-5 developments, says he was disappointed with the state's response to the information he provided to regulators months before they took action.

The Tram Haus Lodge at Jay Peak was one project invested in by foreign investors through the EB-5 program. In an Aug. 14 letter, the federal government said it plans to shut down the "Vermont Regional Center" that oversees the EB-5 program.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Earlier this summer VPR reported that state officials received documentation of alleged fraud at Jay Peak Resort in 2014, a year and a half before filing charges against resort owner Ariel Quiros and president Bill Stenger.

The documentation came from an unusual source: one of the foreign investors in an EB-5 project at Jay Peak. He managed to piece together the alleged fraud before the state’s investigation even began.

Angela Evancie / VPR

A big question has lingered in the months since federal and state authorities charged Jay Peak developers with fraud: What did Gov. Peter Shumlin and other officials know about the alleged scam, and when did they know it?

Tony Sutton, an EB-5 investor, is suing the State of Vermont for being complicit in multi-million-dollar fraud allegedly perpetrated by those in charge of Jay Peak.
Lisa Rathke / AP

Many foreign investors in Jay Peak’s EB-5 developments are scrambling in the wake of charges that the resort orchestrated a massive securities fraud with their money. But it’s more than just money riding on the outcome for some investors.

Legislation that would have made it easier for the state to decertify police offers for crimes and misconduct died in the Vermont Senate's Government Operations Committee earlier this week. 

Angela Evancie / VPR File

You may have heard about the nearly $1 million lawsuit the city of Rutland settled in December with a former police officer.

Vermont Interactive Technologies ceased operations last month at all 17 of its sites that had been used for job training, distance learning, bankruptcy proceedings, public hearings and more. Now, a plan for the state's public access TV stations to provide some of the service may be too late.

Hilary Niles / VPR

Vermont's decades-old statewide videoconferencing system is days away from being dismantled. But a central Vermont man who has fought the dissolution of Vermont Interactive Technologies is now taking his fight to court.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Vermont's state government has a long, backlogged list of information technology projects — potentially totaling more than $1 billion in the next five years. That much spending is hard to budget for — and harder still with the way Vermont now pays for many of these projects.

Aleksangel / iStock.com

Vermont’s state government is contemplating at least $1 billion of information technology projects in the coming years. The wish list is long, and some projects — even important ones — are likely to stay on it for a long time.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

Vermont Higher Education System. Vermont State Higher Education System. Vermont State College and University System … On second thought, “Vermont State Colleges” works just fine.

Hilary Niles / VPR

There's an old adage that, "it takes money to make money." A group of policymakers and community stakeholders is finding out it sometimes costs money to save money, too.

That's only one of many conundrums facing a group of people trying to figure out what to do with Vermont Interactive Technologies after its funding runs out at the end of the year.

Hilary Niles for VPR

State officials today will celebrate a Northeast Kingdom airport’s new and improved runway — a project several years and many million dollars in the making. Now, private developers are on the hook to deliver other improvements. And there’s some concern about delays in the developer’s timetable.

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