Special Report

Worst Corruption Scandal in Each State

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

6. Colorado
> Scandal: Gary Hart infidelity
> Year: 1987

Gary Hart was considered a strong presidential candidate in 1988. However, allegations of infidelity dogged his campaign. Matters came to a head in May 1987, when The Washington Post published details about a tryst between Hart and a woman in Washington, D.C., who was not Hart’s wife. The report followed questions about Hart’s alleged relationship with model Donna Rice. The revelations forced Hart to publicly withdraw from the race.

Source: Bob Falcetti / Getty Images

7. Connecticut
> Scandal: Ex-governor’s corruption
> Year: 2004

Former Gov. John Rowland was released from federal custody earlier this year after serving 14 months of a 30-month term. He had been found guilty of campaign fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. Rowland was imprisoned on charges that he tried to conceal his role from political campaign overseers as a paid political consultant for several congressional campaigns. Rowland had been the youngest governor ever in Connecticut, and had won three terms before he resigned in 2004.

Source: Alex Wong / Getty Images

8. Delaware
> Scandal: Gov. Ruth Ann Minner accused of taking improper gifts
> Year: 2006

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner was accused of taking improper gifts from a lobbyist in 2007. The governor took a private flight to Canada for a government leadership conference with a liquor company executive who failed to register as a lobbyist. Minner did not report the flight in a disclosure filing and said later her cost of the flight did not top the $250 threshold for financial disclosure for state officials. The liquor company executive, Christopher Tigani, eventually pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations.

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9. Florida
> Scandal: Miami cops swipe cocaine
> Year: 1985

Few scandals undermined the public’s faith in law enforcement more than when police officers pocketed drugs instead of turning them over for evidence. In the summer of 1985, police supposedly raided a boat on the Miami River that was offloading cocaine reportedly worth $12 million. The drugs went missing, and an investigation led to a labyrinth of crooked cops who shook down drug dealers and took their money and drugs. Eventually 24 police officers were convicted.

Source: Kent D. Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

10. Georgia
> Scandal: Cheating scandal involving principals and teachers
> Year: 2011

A wide-ranging test-cheating scandal in Atlanta undercut the integrity of educators. In 2011, about 180 teachers and principals in the Atlanta public school system cheated to boost student scores on standardized tests. It was one of the biggest cheating scandals involving educators in the nation’s history. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also uncovered a conspiracy to intimidate whistle-blowers and conceal misdoing. Education observers cited the scandal as an example of politicians placing too much emphasis on students performing well on standardized tests.