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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 news editor and equity and justice beat reporter for NPR Illinois, where she has been on the staff since 2014 after Illinois Issues magazine’s merger with the station. She joined the magazine’s staff in 1998 as projects editor and became managing editor in 2003. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, she was an education reporter and copy editor at three local newspapers, including the suburban Chicago Daily Herald, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in English from UIS.
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