WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Dubious Distinction for Illinois

Feb 16, 2012

Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln but it could just as easily be called the Land of Graft.

Illinois is the second most corrupt  state -- and Chicago is the city with the most public corruption -- according to a report released by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and  the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

The report said there have been more than 1,500 corruption convictions in the  federal district dominated by Chicago since 2010.

Illinois is known for its history of corrupt politicians, but report author Jim Nowlan said the problem comes from a variety of  government workers.

"To be honest there are a lot of convictions of federal postal employees  who take mail and use it for their own purposes. That seems to  be one of the largest, but we did note that four of the past seven governors  have been convicted of crimes. Thirty-one aldermen in Chicago in the past several years have been convicted," Nowlan said.

The report puts Illinois in second place for states with the most corruption convictions per capita. Only Louisiana ranked higher. New York and Pennsylvania  follow Illinois.

Researchers also considered the corruption convictions per capita for Washington D.C.   The nation's capital outranked all states in that category.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio