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.