Public corruption is not just a city of Chicago problem, according to a university study which says an inspector general is also needed to investigate the suburbs.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago released a report, "Green Grass and Graft: Corruption in the Suburbs," that documents public corruption involving more than 130 public officials, including 17 mayors, in 60 suburbs in Cook and surrounding counties since the early 1970s.
Most of the convictions have come in the last two decades, according to the study.
"Political corruption is commonly thought to be the exclusive purview of the big, bad city, but we have found that towns and villages in the suburban ring are copying Chicago's corruption playbook," Dick Simpson, co-author and UIC professor of political science, said in the release. "Suburbanites must recognize the problem and demand reforms by both local and state government."
The report suggests an independent suburban-based inspector general position be created to investigate illegal and unethical activities, and recommend follow-up action by state and federal prosecutors.