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Chicago Reigns As Country's Corruption Capital: Report

Ken Lund
Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Thomas Gradel is the co-author of the book Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism and Criminality. He and a team of researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago recently dug into statistics from an annual  federal Department of Justice public integrity report and concluded that between 1976 and 2018, Chicago was the most corrupt city in the nation. Illinois was almost as bad, ending up third after the state of Louisiana and the District of Columbia.

Gradel, a retired political consultant and journalist, talked with Illinois Public Radio's Statewide program about the findings, which were rounded out by information collected from the Cook County State’s Attorney, inspectors general and local governments. They also considered news reports of corruption cases.


Maureen Foertsch McKinney is lead editor of Illinois Issues' feature articles, working with freelance writers, and covering the equity beat. Maureen joined the Illinois Issues in 1998 as projects editor. Previously, she worked at three Illinois daily newspapers, most recently the suburban Chicago-based Daily Herald, where she served stints as an education reporter and copy editor. She graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's in journalism. She also has a master's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
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