Bee’s Charles Piller wins award for Bay Bridge reporting

Bee Staff

Sacramento Bee investigative reporter Charles Piller has been recognized for his coverage of construction and management problems related to the $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project.

The First Amendment Coalition selected Piller as one of the winners of its Free Speech & Open Government Awards.

Over three years, The Bee has reported on numerous construction lapses on the bridge project. The series of stories covered investigations of the rusted main cable and anchor bolts based on lab testing that Piller arranged, cracked cables and their potential safety dangers, an overview of the problems and a call for a criminal probe.

The First Amendment Coalition received 30 nominations of journalists, government officials, educators, attorneys and community groups before selecting Piller and the other recipient of the award, Consumer Advocates for R.C.F.E Reform.

Consumer Advocates built the first website devoted to the regulatory history of California assisted living facilities, according to the First Amendment Coalition.

The winners receive $1,000 awards.

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.