>Illinois has long legacy of public corruption, at least 79 elected officials have been convicted of wrongdoing since 1972
The state, Cook County and its governmental seat, Chicago, have a long history of corruption by elected and appointed officials.
The culture of corruption dates back to the late 19th century, when a gambling-house owner named Michael Cassius McDonald created the city’s first political machine, establishing a model in which officials would distribute contracts, jobs and social services in exchange for political support, according to a scholarly history of organized crime in Chicago by Robert Lombardo, a sociology professor and former Chicago and Cook County police officer.
Its persistence was documented in Sept. 7, 2006 by the Chicago Sun-Times, which reported that at least 79 current or former Illinois, Chicago or Cook County elected officials had been found guilty of a crime by judges, juries or their own pleas since 1972. The paper provided this tally of the tarnished: three governors, two other state officials, 15 state legislators, two congressmen, one mayor, three other city officials, 27 aldermen, 19 Cook County judges and seven other Cook County officials.”…