Chicago Leads the Nation in Corruption

I tell you, I had to pick myself up off the floor when I read this bit of news. Not.

Federal prosecutors secured a total of 1,531 public corruption convictions in the Northern District of Illinois since 1976, said Dick Simpson, head of the university’s political science department.

Meanwhile, Illinois logged 1,828 public corruption convictions, the third most of any state, according to the report. Only California and New York had more.

But those states are much larger than Illinois. On a per-person basis, only the District of Columbia and Louisiana had more convictions than Illinois, according to the report.

Four governors, two congressmen, a state treasurer, an attorney general, 11 state legislators, numerous judges and dozens of aldermen have been convicted since the 1970s, according to the report, dubbed Chicago and Illinois, Leading the Pack in Corruption.

“For a long time — going back at least to the Al Capone era — Chicago and Illinois have been known for high levels of public corruption, Simpson said. “But now we have the statistics that confirm their dishonorable and notorious reputations. . . . . The two worst crime zones in Illinois are the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield and the City Council Chambers in Chicago.”

“Chicago is the most corrupt city in the country, and Illinois is probably the third-most corrupt state in the nation,” Simpson said at a City Hall news conference.

I never really came from a background where hush money or protection had to be paid. I wonder if you still have to pay people to “protect” your business “in case something happens” in Chicago.

If so, it is a disgrace. The corruption is a disgrace anyways. I wonder when (if) the people of the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago will ever get sick of it.

Cross posted at LITGM.

11 thoughts on “Chicago Leads the Nation in Corruption”

  1. Meanwhile, Illinois logged 1,828 public corruption convictions, the third most of any state, according to the report. Only California and New York had more.

    It is interesting that Chicago (vote early and vote often ) has the reputation but CA and NY are worse.

    Out here – at least publically – this has been the worse –

    A whole town starting with the city manager

  2. As an Illinois resident my sense is that most people here simply accept government corruption as just the way it is, always has been, and always will be, and ignore it. Whenever the Obama admistration makes the news for some shady deal or another, while the headline writers seem to be shocked, no one in Illinois is. We all know where he came from and if the man mastered politics in Chicago, then he knows corruption as an art form.

  3. Chicago is so sick of it, they tried to pawn off one of their most corrupt on the rest of us. Sadly, they succeeded. But the underlings came right back. (to spawn?)

  4. My father was in the juke box business in the 1930s and 40s in Chicago. He knew Al Capone (A fact that fascinates my children and their friends). I have been told that one minor league gangster liked to hold me in his lap when I was too young to remember and my mother worried that a hit man would shoot us both. The gangster was later retired by a shotgun blast. Fortunately, I was nowhere nearby. His name was Danny Stanton. I was amazed to find him in Wikipedia. Red is there too.

    The examples of corruption were legion. My father happened into the business after he owned a music store during Prohibition and he and his partner got involved with nickelodeons. I wish I had a couple of the five instrument examples I saw in a storage space at the shop when I was a kid. One problem with the nickelodeons was beer. If it was spilled on the top of the cabinet, it would trickle down (like economics) and spoil the strings of string instruments inside. Juke boxes came later. My father’s first evidence that the Mob had gotten interested in the business came during the War when he found his juke box in the alley and a new one in the tavern. Eventually, he had to get out of the business. He had too many offers of partnership from characters like Red Fawcett. Red was shot a few weeks later and my father kept a record of everyone he was with at the time. He didn’t really have any worry about that because the cops knew exactly who was mobbed up and who wasn’t.

    He told me stories of the rackets he saw. He later had a tavern. Every week “the captain’s man” would come by to collect. If you paid, nobody ever got a parking ticket on the block in front of your tavern, which was lined with parking meters. Most of it was minor league stuff like that but, when they broke a burglary ring run out of a north side police station, Orlando Wilson was called in to clean up the department. He was the one who appointed family friend Frank Flanagan the Chief of Homicide.

  5. A friend and I were pulled over by the CPD on the Skyway a few years back for doing 85 in a 55. When asked for his license my buddy showed him his Streets and Sanitation ID and the patrolman quickly sent us on our merry way. I said “that sure was nice of him”, to which my friend said “nice? If he gave me a ticket I’d have a crew dig a 100 foot hole in front of his house and leave it there for six months”. The same friend also skipped out on a 2000 Gore rally in downtown Chicago to go fishing with me. All nonessentials were given the afternoon off to attend the rally and although there wasn’t an “official” attendance taken, supervisors and managers kept a close lookout for their people. Needless to say his absence didn’t go unnoticed and he didn’t have vacation approved or was given OT for nearly a year after that. That’s the beauty of the “Chicago way” and why no amount of Shackman decree’s will ever stop it. It’s the way everyone from the Mayor down to the lowest janitor knows how to play the game without talking about it. The unspoken but universally acknowledged rule that no favor, promotion, offer of employment or concession is ever given based solely on merit and is either an outstanding obligation against you or payment on a debt.

    Remember a few years ago when everyone got their panties in knot when Jody Weis met with leaders from Chicago’s street gangs. I can tell you for a fact that there isn’t one single alderman, state representative, state senator or CPD area captain with a significant gang presence in their territories that doesn’t have strong ties with the local gangs. Some of the ties are just to keep the peace but you know God damn well that the gangs are being used as part of the GOTV effort and for political intimidation. You don’t have to look much further then guys like Hal Baskin to see that. Or Arenda Troutman, the long road to her indictment started out as an FBI anti gang investigation.

    I lived in Chicago until I graduated from College and escaped to the burbs and I can guarantee you nothing will ever change about the way that city runs.

  6. When the fair Mrs. Doventonsils and I got married and looked for a house, we had to buy in the city, as my wife worked for the Chicago Public Schools at the time (due to residency requirements for CPS employees).

    I’m now increasingly convinced that this purchase will turn out to be the worst investment, by far, of our lives. I’m just hoping Chicago (hell, Illinois) doesn’t slide into complete Detroit-level squalor.

  7. It’s just lucky that Rhode Island is so small; there are only so many politicians to lock up. They had a mayor of Providence who had 2 state troopers hold a man he thought was having an affair with Mrs. Mayor. His Honor stubbed out a cigar on the man’s face while his arms were being held.

  8. Oh, Buddy Cianci, you scamp… it never ceases to cracks me up that Providence is now a renowned gay vacation spot. But hey, the Mob made big cash running gay bars in the old days, so why not continue the tradition?

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