Special Report

This is the Worst Corruption Scandal in Wyoming History

Americans are growing less trusting of their political institutions. Per a Gallup poll, the vast majority of Americans have “some,” “very little,” or “no” confidence in congress and the presidency.

This distrust in American politics likely stems, at least in part, from the litany of scandals that have ensnared civil servants at every level. While misconduct at the national level, like Watergate or President Bill Clinton’s extramarital affair, tend to get more attention, corruption has been found at the state level in every part of the country.

While these scandals are each unique, they all have some common DNA — someone with some amount of power from the public position they hold using that power to benefit themselves or their family. Regardless of location or political affiliation, it seems that all types of American officials are susceptible to malfeasance.

In some instances, these scandals are simple cases of politicians accepting bribes in exchange for promoting favorable legislation for a business or an individual. In others, the scandals are of officials taking funds meant to help the community and spending it lavishly on themselves, buying houses, cars, and vacations. Still others are more complex ordeals, involving blackmail, false accusations, extramarital affairs, and sometimes even murder.

The Teapot Dome scandal was considered to be the most serious scandal in the United States until the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s. The scandal gets its name from the Teapot Rock formation, located 25 miles north of Casper, Wyoming. In the early 20th century, U.S. Navy administrators requested that federally-owned land with known oil deposits be set aside by Congress as naval petroleum reserves. These reserves were not to be touched unless a national emergency was present.

However, once President Warren Harding’s Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall gained control of the Teapot Dome oil reserve, he made private deals with two oilmen who bribed him to drill into the Dome and two other oil reserves nearby. Fall went down in history as the first officer in a presidential cabinet to go to jail for crimes committed while in office.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed local news reports, media coverage, and other historical documents to find the worst corruption scandal in the history of each state. This is the biggest corruption scandal in each state’s history.