Corruption Costs Illinois $500 Million a Year

The Economist recently highlighted a report published by the University of Illinois at Chicago in which corruption amongst American states is more closely examined.  The Economist’s daily chart displays the number of public corruption convictions from 1976 to 2010.  This analysis of public corruption comes just days after Rod Blagojevich began his 14-year prison sentence on March 15th. The former governor of Illinois was impeached and removed from office for attempting to sell Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat (amongst other charges) in early 2009.  The corruption report displays convictions per 10,000 population.  Louisiana leads all states with a rate of 2 appointees and government employees convicted per 10,000 of the state’s total population, followed by Illinois at 1.4, New York at 1.3, and Pennsylvania at just over 1.2 convictions per 10,000.  New York had the most convictions, at 2,522, followed closely by California with 2,345.  The District of Columbia has convicted public officials due to corruption at a rate of 16.7 per 10,000 of the population since 1976, but this figure is exaggerated due to the fact that the Jusitice Department and other federal agencies often try corruption cases regardless of where the crimes were committed.  The report also estimates that corruption costs Illinois $500 million a year, which is just over 2% of the state’s FY2013 budget, and more than the $425 million in spending cuts enacted by Governor Pat Quinn for the coming year.
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