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Top 5 Most Corrupt Cities In America

Chicago Illinois skyline

Perhaps the biggest surprise emerging from this list is that Washington, D.C. isn’t number one. That distinction goes to Obama’s hometown of Chicago, rated as the most corrupt city in America, according to a new report conducted “ironically” by the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The report based their findings on the “most public corruptions in America by public officials,” between 1976 through 2017.

Chicago led the malfeasance pack with 1,731 public convictions, with Los Angeles a close second with 1,534 convictions, followed by the Big Apple (NYC), with 1,327, then Washington, D.C., clocking in at number 4, and Miami at number 5.

The report also noted that only “convictions” of those individuals convicted of crimes, and not those “accused” of a crime, dictated the findings within the report.

The information gathered by the University of Illinois at Chicago, came from the Department of Justice, in which 25 public figures were convicted of charges tied to corruption in 2017 in the City of Chicago, alone. With over 30 City Council members from the “windy city” linked to corruption cases since the 1970s.


The most notable, Democratic Alderman Edward M. “Ed” Burke, of the 14th Ward, who was first elected to the Chicago City Council in 1969, and represents part of the city’s Southwest Side, is now fighting federal corruption charges after a surprise FBI raid last year at his office, seizing a treasure-trove of documents, computers, and phone records, alleging his involvement in shaking-down a fast food company seeking to remodel a restaurant in his ward.

The alleged scheme involved forcing the owners of the restaurant to hire Burke’s private law firm in exchange for not putting costly delays and other excessive roadblocks in front of the remodeling effort. However, when the owners hesitated in hiring Burke’s law firm, the powerful aldermen allegedly threatened to play “hardball” with company executives.

Although the “windy city” is by far the most corrupt city within America, the report also found that the “city-of-angels” is running a close second,  boasting the same public conviction rate in 2016 and again in 2017.

Moreover when it comes to the most corrupt counties specifically, the cities and agencies in the south and central L.A. County, few can top the states, corrupt local legislators.

For example, the former mayor of South El Monte admitted taking bribes for 7-years from a contractor paid by the city for engineering and construction services.

In 2010, a Los Angeles Times investigation uncovered the city was being run by a criminal enterprise headed by Former City Manager Robert Rizzo, in which city officials and members of the City Council received huge salaries, derived from collecting illegal taxes from the public. The scam accounting practice was finally uncovered sending Rizzo to prison on 69 corruption charges, along with 5-City Council members.

In another corruption case, Councilman Robert Fierro resigned in 2012, after he pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge, related to his attempts at duping investigators from looking into the financing of his 2005 campaign.

Number three on the list of corrupt cities is New York City, run by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been proved countless times for official misconduct, and has thus far escaped being indicated. However other political cronies of the mayor haven’t been that lucky.


New York’s growing list of convicted politicians including ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos are just two of the mayor’s cronies fighting to stay out of prison.

In May 2016, Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to repay $5.3 million in illegal financial benefits and $1.75 million in additional fines. Silver’s conviction was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan in July 2017, however in May of 2018, after being retired he was found guilty on the same charges, and sentenced to 7-years in prison.

While the report focused on the 5-most corrupt cities in America, it’s worth noting that other surveys have also identified the other 5 top cities. Below is the entire list of the top “10” most corrupt cities in America…did you’re city make the list? Moreover what other cities can you name?

Top 10 Most Corrupt Cities in America:

  1. Chicago
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Manhattan, NY
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Miami
  6. Newark
  7. Cleveland
  8. Philadelphia
  9. Richmond
  10. Brooklyn, NY

11 Comments
  1. Post Author

    Aren’t these all cities that have been under democratic rule for decades?

  2. Post Author

    Not surprisin DC isn’t # one. No one gets charged even for treason there!

  3. Post Author

    How many of these cities are run by Democrat politicians. Big Government gets one BIG Corruption. One doesn’t;t try to bribe or corrupt an official with out power to “do a favor”. How to get the proper balance is the problem. Term limits would go a long way in changing what is common belief: Most of Government is corrupt. Used to think the Federal Government was better, but the Clintons and Obama have proven otherwise, especially when it comes to the DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA of the Clinton and Obama regimes. We need term limits. Senators, Reps and Federal judges are all to long in Government.

  4. Post Author

    How many of these cities are run by Democrat politicians. Big Government gets one BIG Corruption. One doesn’t;t try to bribe or corrupt an official with out power to “do a favor”. How to get the proper balance is the problem. Term limits would go a long way in changing what is common belief: Most of Government is corrupt. Used to think the Federal Government was better, but the Clintons and Obama have proven otherwise, especially when it comes to the DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA of the Clinton and Obama regimes. We need term limits. Senators, Reps and Federal judges are all too long in Government.

  5. Post Author

    What do you expect,all run by Democrats!

  6. Post Author

    Oh come on! Detroit has to rank right up there. Contractors had to pay the mayors their cut up front before being awarded city contracts as soon as oColeman Young took office. Always before they waited until completion and payment for the awarded project.

  7. Post Author

    I wonder how many of these cities are run by dam o rats. if that does not tell you something you are a stupid jerk.

  8. Post Author

    Question: Isn’t it coincidental that they are all run by Democrats?
    Answer: NO!

  9. Post Author

    Quite fitting that corrupt Hussein Obama is from the most corrupt city.

  10. Post Author

    I agree having worked in government with HUD and also lived and or visited all. You will note most have many social issues and high homelessness.

  11. Post Author

    You have LA as # 2. However, many or most of the convictions are not in the city as you say. You do mention the other cities in LA county and that’s fair. But you misrepresent LA by showing it as # 2. A more fair view is to rank actual cities by name and not to rank LA because of its proximity.

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