Wow. 2021 is just full of surprises, huh? Who would have ever dreamed that Chicago would find itself atop the rankings in a measurement of city-level corruption? Or that the ranking would contain the word "again?"

Let me answer my own questions. Pretty much everyone who lives in, lived in, or knows anything about how Chicago works isn't the slightest bit shocked by the news.

Oh, and by the way, the same study that names Chicago as the nation's most corrupt city also names Illinois as the 3rd most corrupt state in America.

How does Illinois only rank 3rd? Did someone forget that we send more governors to prison in this state than we send sports teams on to championship series?

Anyway, the study I'm referring to is the Anti-Corruption Report that was recently released by the University of Chicago. The report, co-authored by UIC professor and former Ald. Dick Simpson, is based on an analysis of the public corruption statistics published by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In reading through it, I find that there's a lot to digest when you start pouring over numbers from the Department of Justice (DOJ). Here's UIC's explanation of what they looked at:

...the rankings of the nation's top 15 judicial districts, including their major city, by the total number of public corruption convictions. Since 1976, Chicago had a total of 1,770 convictions and an average of 41 per year, Los Angeles had 1,588 and an average of 37, New York/Manhattan had 1,361 and an average of 32 per year, Miami had 1,234 and an average of 29, and Washington D.C. had 1,199 and an average of 28 per year.

Okay, so maybe we're not blowing away the corrupt competition, but we're far enough ahead to take the trophy once again. The same can't be said for state-versus-state corruption, though. Washington, DC takes the blue ribbon, followed by Louisiana, then comes the Land of Lincoln.

 

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