CHAMPAIGN URBANA, Ill. (IRN) — Illinois is infamous for political corruption. Now University of Illinois professors have statistics to prove it.
Since 1976, the Northern District of Illinois has had more public corruption convictions than any other federal judicial district, roughly 250 more than the runner-up, the Central District of California. Statewide, Illinois has the third most public corruptions convictions in the country, behind New York and California.
“Since the 1880s, Chicago has been known as a place where people try to do well rather than try to do good. So the Chicago nexus of corruption has been with us for more than a century,” Nowlan said.
Nowlan says corruption is so deeply rooted in the state’s political culture that the problem won’t be solved by simply passing laws.
“There are plenty of laws on the books that make bribery illegal, for example, and yet to go beyond that we talk about changing the culture of corruption that might exist in Illinois,” he says.
Nowlan says lawmakers are hesitant to pass laws that will affect themselves. That leads to rules that benefit those in power, he says.
Statewide Illinois also ranked second in per capita public corruption convictions, behind Louisiana.
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