Contact Me

Me interviewing Stephen Werner, the New York City official who blew the whistle on the city’s lax oversight of landlords, for ProPublica’s “Rent Racket” series. Photo: Bryan Anselm.

I have  a decade of experience working with sensitive sources for news stories at Reuters, ProPublica and, most recently, The Wall Street Journal. If you have a newstip, a document, or even just a story idea that you want to share, I would love to hear from you – especially if it’s a story that will help hold the powerful to account.

Below are some ways to get in touch. Pick the one that works best for you:

  • Encrypted Messaging: You can also find me on Keybase (username: cezary4) and send an encrypted message there using my PGP key: B78FB060E6872E18
  • Chat: I am also reachable on Signal, the secure messaging app, on 475-323-8756. Or you can find me on Wire at: @cezaryp. Or Keybase (cezary4).

I vet every tip I receive; if you take the time and effort to write to me, I will take the time and effort to review the information you provide.

In June 2015, for example, I received a cryptic email about New York City property tax breaks tied to rent limits on their apartments which, the sender claimed, many property owners were willfully ignoring. It would have been easy enough to ignore the confusing email, but instead I dug into the newstip, provided by a longtime New York City housing analyst who had tried but failed repeatedly to convince the city to do something about the problem. The newstip turned into “The Rent Racket,” a nearly two year-long reporting project which spurred legislative change in Albany and prompted the city and state to strengthen enforcement of rules tied to the tax breaks.

The official who sparked the reporting, Stephen Werner, later testified at a New York City Council hearing about his his concerns, which caught the attention of a lawmaker who called Werner a “hero” and successfully sponsored legislation to address some of the issues he had uncovered. Hear what the two of them had to say in conversation with each other during this podcast I recorded with Werner:

Protecting Sources

Sometimes, whistleblowers are wiling to go public and speak on the record; at other times, doing so is too risky and they ask to remain anonymous. That decision is theirs and theirs alone.  Protecting sources is a sacred obligation. Here are some general principles I try to abide by when working with whistleblowers, as I’ve done before on this and other stories.

Perugia Principles for working with whistleblowers in the digital age. Source: Blueprint for Free Speech.

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