This Illinois City Known as the Most Corrupted City in America

A new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago says that Illinois is the third-most corrupt state and Chicago is the most corrupt city in America for the fourth year in a row.

A study from the political science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago used data from the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2021 report on public crime to make the report.

“The public’s trust in government is still being eroded by bribery, extortion, fraud, conflicts of interest, theft of campaign funds, and tax cheating,” said Marco Rosaire Rossi and Thomas J. Gradel, who wrote the study.

The report is the first one come out since Dick Simpson, a former professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and alderman for the 44th Ward, retired. Simpson wrote the yearly report for 14 years.

The report uses a formula that compares the number of corruption cases in each area to the number of people living there to make a ranking system that includes information from 1976 to 2021. Even though federal corruption charges dropped from an average of 61 per year in the 1990s to 28.5 per year between 2010 and 2019, the Northern District of Illinois, which is mostly made up of Chicago and its suburbs, is still a place where a lot of bad things happen.

The study says that there were 32 convictions for public corruption in the Northern District of Illinois in 2021, up from 22 convictions in 2020. This includes all of Chicago and the northern third of Illinois.

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Rossi wrote in the report, “To end corruption, Illinois residents will need to elect better, more honest public officials and press those in office to make meaningful changes such as stricter rules on conflicts of interest, more openness about contracts, and changes to the way lobbying is done.”

Rossi said that instead of waiting for the Department of Justice to act, Illinois should create a mindset that is against corruption. The report talks about many corruption cases. Two big investigations that have caught dozens of politicians are the one into Commonwealth Edison’s ties to the campaign of former House Speaker Michael Madigan and the one into whether elected officials took bribes to support putting red-light cameras in the suburbs.

Madigan is going to be tried in April on 22 criminal charges. These charges are part of a large indictment that says he ran a criminal business for almost a decade in order to gain political power and money. Madigan has said she is not guilty.

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