Chicago ranks most corrupt city

Marshall Cohen

Chicago is the most corrupt city and Illinois is the third most corrupt state in the nation, according to a study released Wednesday by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“For a long time – going back at least to the Al Capone era – Chicago and Illinois have been known for high levels of public corruption,” said Dick Simpson, head of the political science department at UIC, according to a UIC news release issued Wednesday. “But now we have the statistics that confirm their dishonorable and notorious reputations.”

The study reviewed corruption convictions from the past 36 years.

There were 1,531 corruption convictions in the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago, since 1976, according to the study.

Illinois ranked third nationally, behind California and New York, with 1,828 public corruption convictions, according to the study. However, Illinois had a better per-capita record than Louisiana and the District of Columbia.

Most recently, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted on 17 counts of corruption in June, becoming the fourth of the past nine Illinois governors to be sentenced to prison.

Simpson and Prof. Jim Nowlan from the University of Illinois will present recommendations to a task force on ethics reform created by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

– Marshall Cohen