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Chicago is the America's most corrupt city. It is the third largest City in U.S but comparable to none in corruption. Every day the media continues to expose Chicago in lurid stories of city hall corruption exposing the current ruler of Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley II in corruption scandals. Chicago police have proved notorious in corruption. Some of them have been charged with home invasions, official misconduct and absolute impunity. The Chicago politicians and business men have not been spared either. They are the organizers of corrupt political deals in the city (Allen, 13).
William Hale Thomson is said to have been the most corrupt Mayor in Chicago. He is ranked among the most corrupt mayors in the history of United States. He reigned during early 20th Century, whereby he charged city drivers and inspectors $ 3 per month. He is famous for giving the city of Chicago an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, triumphant hoodlumism and barbaric crime (David et al, 22). Robert Patrick, who was the mayor of East Chicago for 33 years, carries numerous accusations of running the town as a corrupt enterprise. He spent $24 million which was public money on patios, private driveways, and walkways to woe voters in 1999. The former mayor Robert has been ordered to pay more than $ 108 million in civil damages in alleged sidewalks for vote schemes (Fitzgerald, 3). The current Chicago Mayor, Richard Delay has recently been in media for corruption interrogations. He is currently facing major budgeting problems, pervasive cost scandals in big government projects and more than thirty indictments in the City Hall of Chicago, which have risen as high as some of his closest friends.
Chicago government official experts are used to a political culture that has been operational for the last 100 years. The culture dates back to 19th century when Michael Caussius Mcdonald, who owned a gambling house created the city's first political machine, whereby those in power would give out contracts, social services and jobs with an aim of getting political support. Chicago has large immigrant population which has made it easier for political machines to increase in power. Politicians in Chicago have always taken advantage of poor ethnic communities, manipulating them against one another with pretty gifts in exchange for political support. Chicago has never had a reformist mayor but has always been led by one party system hence making it vulnerable for corruption. Chicago's democrat Otto Kerner, who was a governor between 1961 and 1968 was found guilty on seventeen charges of corruption, including bribery, conspiracy and perjury and was sentenced to three years of federal imprisonment and a$ 50 fine. Another former governor Democrat Dan Walker who reigned between 1973 and 1977 was convicted of impunity and sentenced to seven years of federal prison. Republican George Ryan who reigned between 1999 and 2003 as the 39th Illinois governor was convicted on eighteen counts of corruption and misuse of state resources. Befor his death in 1993, the Democratic Party Ward leader Mercy had changed his name because of his involvement in political crimes raging from fixing to buying jury verdicts and fixing money laundering. The present Chicago Governor Blagojevich is currently under investigation for allegedly attempting to sell the U.S. President Elect Obama's vacant seat, with up to seven candidates bidding for the seat (Fitzgerald 3).
Since 1960, over sixty Chicago police officers have been involved in major corruption scandals rocking the city. In 1989, ten Wentworth District Officers were convicted of taking large sums of money as protection money from gamblers and drug dealers. In September 2006, four police officers confessed of their involvement on a host of crimes including robbery, home invasion and official misconduct. They were accused of making home arrests and committing robbery for several years, while acting under the guise of busting street gangs and rounding up guns (Heizmann, Sweeney and Walberg). Chicago police force has been accused of numerous corruption cases. They notoriously raid people's homes in search for money. Recent investigations have so far established twenty five cases whereby white band of cops elegantly ripped off mainly Hispanic victims who are drug dealers. In January 2005, nine Chicago police officers were charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. They used their official position to obtain money and illegal drugs from drug dealers through robbery and extortion. Chicago police carry out searches of people suspected to be drug dealers to recover money illegal drugs and weapons for their own selfish gains rather than for legitimate law enforcement purposes (Flood and McGough).
Chicago police department is the main agency for law enforcement in Chicago city. It does so under the guidance of city Mayor. With over 13, 000 police officers, it is one of the oldest modern police forces in the world. The police force started experiencing large scandals of corruption in 1960 under leadership of Mayor Richard J. Delay. The Chicago police force has been characterized by corrupt officers who instead of enforcing the law, use their positions to commit crime and break the law hence the Chicago police force is composed of police officers who have cases of misconduct, abuse of office, robbery, illegal connections with gangsters and drug dealers and other criminal activities that make it difficult for Chicago residents to have confidence in it (New York Times). The government officials, politicians and the Mayor are equally corrupt and unable to give clear guidance on leadership to right direction.
This paper has clearly discussed several indicators of corruption in Chicago city. Through this research, it is clear that Chicago has been one of the most corrupt cities in America. Most of Chicago residents are Immigrants, a condition that has given power to corrupt leaders, politicians and police force to manipulate the immigrants for their own political and personal gains. It is interesting to note that the masterminds of corruption in Chicago are mainly political leaders, the mayor and the police force who are supposed to give direction to Chicago residents and enforce the law. It is therefore difficult to end the culture of corruption and impunity in this city unless the main contributors of corruption have been dealt with. Chicago residents should strive to elect leaders that are corrupt free and development conscious to avoid scandals arising from selfish leaders. Corruption could be greatly minimized if leaders, politicians and police force would work together to enforce the law for the present and future generations.