Special Report

Worst Corruption Scandal in Each State

With a nearly daily barrage of stories questioning the ethics of the Trump administration, and a political campaign in 2016 that focused on the ethical lapses of Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton, it is no surprise that Americans’ faith in government is flagging.

Trust in institutions declined by 9 percentage points to 43% in 2018, according to the communications marketing firm Edelman Trust Barometer. That is the biggest trust decline ever measured for the United States by Edelman. Of the four components measured by Edelman — non-government entities, business, government, and media — government had the largest point decline, 14 points.

In its most recent survey in 2015 assessing government transparency and accountability, the Center for Public Integrity found that only three states scored higher than a D+, and 11 failed.

People are disillusioned with institutions because they believe they are tainted. Officials lacking integrity succumb to the temptations of money, power, and sex. Among the handmaidens of corruption are lying, financial failure, ethical transgressions, and judicial obstruction. Because of scandal and corruption, we are all too familiar with the terms bribery, sexual misconduct, entrapment, bagmen, fraud, and sleaze.

As investigators and the media try to determine the extent of the scandals involving the Trump administration, 24/7 Wall St. has taken the opportunity to review the worst scandal in each state.

Click to see the worst scandal in every state.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.