In case you missed it from the University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Political Science and the Illinois Integrity Initiative of the University of Illinois’ Institute for Government and Public Affairs:
For a century and a half, public corruption has been a shameful aspect of both Illinois and Chicago politics. The Governor’s mansion and Chicago City Council Chambers have long been the epicenters of public corruption. The extent and pervasiveness of bribery, fraud, stealing from the taxpayers, and illegal patronage have made the city and state national leaders of corruption. Our notorious reputations have provided fodder for scores of comedians and late night talk show hosts. But corruption is a serious problem that hurts all citizens who put their trust – and tax dollars – in the hands of politicians who abuse the power they are given.
New public corruption conviction data from the U.S. Department of Justice shows the Chicago metropolitan region has been the most corrupt area in the country since 1976. In addition, the data reveal that Illinois is the third most corrupt state in the nation. The latest information, just released by the Justice Department, provides new evidence of the need for reforms to reduce rampant corruption in Chicago and Illinois.
A State of Corruption
Since 1970, four Illinois governors have been convicted of corruption. Yet only seven men have held this office in this time, meaning more than half of the state’s governors have been convicted in the past forty-two years. Otto Kerner, who served from 1961 until his resignation in 1968 to accept a federal judgeship, was convicted in 1973 of mail fraud, bribery, perjury, and income tax evasion while governor. Dan Walker, who served from 1973 – 1977, was convicted in 1987 of obtaining fraudulent loans for the business he operated after he left office.