corrupt politicians

Rich Egger

The final day in office for Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) is Tuesday, March 31. The co-author of a book about the state's shady political history said Schock is far from the first Illinois politician to leave office in disgrace.

Author Thomas Gradel says when he first thought about the project that would become the book Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality, he envisioned it as an encyclopedia of corruption. But his collaborator Dick Simpson couldn’t picture that approach.

“Dick said he didn’t think we’d have time to do it in our lifetimes,’’ says Gradel, a media consultant and former staffer to then-Gov. Dan Walker, who previously worked on several political campaigns.

Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln but it could just as easily be called the Land of Graft.

Illinois is the second most corrupt  state -- and Chicago is the city with the most public corruption -- according to a report released by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and  the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

The report said there have been more than 1,500 corruption convictions in the  federal district dominated by Chicago since 2010.