Crime & Lawsuits, Government & Politics

The 6 Most Corrupt Cities in America


Corruption is a fact of life and likely as old as the first civilization. There is something about power that tempts even the most honorable among us, and when you think of how many of us are less full of moral fiber, you understand why corruption flourishes. Government tends to be especially rife with corruption, given the power-money-opportunity trifecta of temptation, but some places seem to be veritable cesspools of dishonesty. For you budding officials, here are the six most corrupt cities in America.


Ah, Detroit: city of smokestacks and failure. Nobody thinks of rainbows or unicorns when thinking of Detroit, which is one reason why corruption thrives there. A recent example includes the mayor’s aide who was federally indicted on multiple counts of bribery and extortion involving city property sales. His brother, the deputy mayor, was also involved, as was a Detroit police officer. Of course, Detroit’s corruption claim to fame is not only the numerous public school employees charged for embezzling school funds, but also “Hip-Hop Mayor” Kilpatrick, now in prison after paying close to $9 million to keep officers quiet about his extramarital affair with a city employee. Stay classy, Detroit!


Speaking of urban blight, how about Newark, New Jersey? It’s so corrupt there’s a page on the city’s website where people can report it, assuming they aren’t afraid of cement shoes. In 2009, Newark’s deputy mayor suddenly “retired” the same week word came out of a massive federal corruption probe. Mayor Booker, who was elected on an anti-corruption platform, had eighty city officials under investigation at the time. Though not all in Newark, 44 people were eventually arrested on charges of corruption and international money-laundering, including the mayors of three nearby New Jersey cities. The story even includes body parts for sale. It doesn’t get any more Jersey than that.


While looking into New Jersey, the FBI checked Philly out, too. The city was the target of a grand jury investigation of corruption in the city government and police department, which caught at least two high-ranking police department members as well as city officials. A beer distributorship owned by a Philadelphia Licenses and Inspection official and disbarred attorney with ties to mobster Lou “Bent Finger” Monticello was part of the investigation. As if that wasn’t enough, 37 Philadelphia priests are currently being investigated for reports of child molestation.

New Orleans

If New Orleans wasn’t corrupt before Hurricane Katrina, the resulting chaos was enough to pique the interest of the lowest of scumbags in that vulnerable city. A 2007 report stated that public corruption cases had more than quintupled since Katrina hit, with 171 people federally indicted between 2003 and 2007, including a school board president. Now, that’s just shameful.

Las Vegas

Vegas was built by the mob, so it’s not ssurprising that it is one of America’s most corrupt cities. Given the fact that the casinos are 37 of the top 50 city employers, the power structure in Las Vegas is both unique and extremely skewed toward the rich and powerful. The casinos support the city government and exploit eminent domain to gobble up land needed to build more and bigger casinos, with little regard to ordinary citizens. The unusually low police officer per capita rate isn’t helping, ether. Las Vegas always has been, and will continue to be, a place where greed rules.


Chicago is arguably the most corrupt city in the United States. It is a city with a long and in-your-face tradition of rampant corruption, which has changed little since the mobster days of the early 20th century. A whopping 385 Chicago officials have been convicted of crimes in the past ten years, including five governors, three of whom have served prison sentences. The mob is still very active in Chicago as well, being home to crime bosses responsible for several high-profile murders. At least they’re keeping their U.S. Attorney busy.


  1. 1

    It isn’t just Big Cities. In Virginia we have a small city where the council and maybe even the police chief look the other way as so called restaurants terrorize neighborhoods. Go to the State for help . My God they are as bad if not worse.

  2. 2

    I think most small towns are corrupt, especially in the South. The police departments live in the community and will do anything for people they know and/or related to. You ask anyone who lives in a small town like Florence, South Carolina or Waynesboro, NC and they will tell you it’s corrupt. Florence has one of the highest crime rates in the country and South Carolina is number 2 in the nation when it comes to men who kill women. It’s not only larger towns…..but small towns in the South are the most corrupt.

  3. 3

    The corruption starts with our mayor and works all the way down to the beat police who look the other way.

  4. 4

    San Antonio is unbelievably corrupt

  5. 5

    Only a DOPE would write this -> “Nobody thinks of rainbows or unicorns when thinking of Detroit, which is one reason why corruption thrives there”

    Good, It’s about time a city exploits its resources instead of SUCKING OFF THE TAXPAYERS LIKE CORRUPT DEMOCRATS LIKE OBAMA “The casinos support the city government and exploit eminent domain to gobble up land needed to build more and bigger casinos, with little regard to ordinary citizens”

  6. 7

    Being a metro Detroit resident my entire life…we all know how corrupt Detroit is. BUT the one thing we also know is we love our city. Detroiters may fall down…but we always get back up. Can you say the same about your town?

  7. 8

    Can anyone tell me me what these cities have in common besides corruption?

  8. 9

    What? No love for the Detroit of the East Coast?

    Baltimore! Get in on it!

  9. 10

    I have also been abused by a judge who is ruling for my millionaire ex and destroying me. Even in the face of multiple concealments, fraud, and $280,000 year of bank deposits in my exes accoutns, the judge still ignores this money and I do not get support for my 4 kids. My ex told me outright that I cannot win, becuase he is rich and powerful. That sounds a lot like he bribed a judge.

  10. 11

    We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have performed an impressive process and our whole community will likely be thankful to you.

  11. 12

    Las Vegas is full of corrupt politicians, lawyers, the usual suspects. A whole bunch of county commissioners were sent to prison for bribes, and absolutely inept lawyers become judges. The heat has affected the brain cells of just about everone, mostly voters obviously. The monarchical system reins here, with the children of dynastic privilege elected on name only. Secretary of State Ross Miller, who pens daily love notes to his favorite baseball player, is the nation’s youngest Sec. of State, and the son of former Gov. Bob Miller. Ross Miller touts his ability to play hookie routinely on his twitter account, and while we live in the worst state economically and in every other quality of life index available, Ross Miller shows pictures of his luxurious vacations, and golf outings. Ross Miller is Nevada’s Dan Quayle. There are others, believe me. Mayor Goodman’s son Eric, who as an attorney told his client to plead guilty when a simple independent check of DNA evidence would have prevented him from listening to Eric Goodman and NOT going to prison, is now a Judge.

  12. 13

    Historically, the fall of civilizations has always been preceded by overwhelming corruption within, the cycle has been repeating itself all around the globe for thousands of years. Nothing is new under the sun, we just happen to be living through this cycle. Instead of fighting amongst each other, I suggest you hit the books, and broaden your perception of things. As long as the victims continue to think within the confines of their own little lives, they will never notice the “little” man behind the curtain, and the cycle will never be broken.

    • 14

      It doesn’t really matter. If some POS gangbanger doesn’t kill me for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, some POS corrupt cop will, and there is nothing I can do or say to change that.

      Mainstream America doesn’t really care, as far as they’re concerned, I should have worked harder so that I could buy my rights like everyone else in this country does.

      Neither do they care about the little kids growing up here who have no choice and have to suffer for their parent’s mistakes. America doesn’t want peace or love or safety. America just wants to eat another hot dog and bomb some more arabs.

  13. 15

    There is a huge amount of bribery in San Diego and around the country in America, perhaps even more than in the courts of any other country in the world. Nearly all bribes are given to the judges by lawyers; this is considered the safe way to bribe a judge. Bribery is rarely spoken about, just understood. People pay huge amounts of money to law firms with connections, the lawyers walk around with a certain amount of cash in their jacket, and they pass it to the judges in their quiet moments together. It is mostly all cash of course. Sometimes the bribery is blatantly obvious, because of the other crimes that lawyers and judges commit in broad daylight together. In the courtrooms you can see the judges being extremely friendly to their rich lawyer friends who pay big bribes.

    In America, government-appointed lawyers are the means by which hundreds of thousands of poor people are railroaded into prison. It is the job of the victim’s lawyer to “sell the deal” that the judge has decided will happen. This is Star Chamber justice. Though a social explosion is lurking beneath the surface – with judges starting to get murdered, and people lighting courthouses ablaze.

    A 1996 San Diego Superior Court corruption case in which three judges and a lawyer were convicted of taking bribes or influence peddling. Since neither county nor state would prosecute, federal prosecutors had to do the job under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statute. Former San Diego Judge Michael Greer admitted taking $75,000 in bribes in exchange for having given a lawyer preferential treatment. Greer was placed on suspension after pleading guilty. Judges G. Dennis Adams, James A. Malkus and attorney Patrick R. Frega were convicted under the RICO statute. But in June of this year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned racketeering charges against Adams and Malkus, claiming the jury had been given inaccurate instructions. All of these men have remained free since 1996 as they appeal their cases.

  14. 16

    They left out San Digo. San Diego California’s legal system is corrupt.

  15. 17

    What about Maui police they are Bigtime corrupt!

  16. 18




  17. 19

    Everyone commenting here is simply a brute, although I live in Canada I have always admired America as a country. The same cannot be said for its inhabitants.

  18. 20

    We need help moving from ‘God’s country’ to’ sin city’ if you can help contact me at Thanks~

    • 21

      Are ya kidding? Well being that I know people there too….you will have absolutely no problem finding a place to rent. You can even just become squatters. It’s a new community in itself. Age of Obama indeed.

  19. 22

    You left out Lebanon, KY. The city will even go into your driveway and take your car and boat! They hack citizens computers. After dark, the marijuana beds are burned off (similar to tobacco bed burning), and the cops drive thru the smoke and ignore it. They falsify documents to steal homes, etc.

  20. 25
    kris (lower case)

    you missed cleveland… let’s talk loser city…

  21. 27

    You guys are funny…you get all upset and accuse people of “hate” when they make factual statements about Detroit.

    By any statistic you chose, Detroit is the most blighted, failure of a city in America. In fact, reports just came out that one person left Detroit every 22 minutes in the past decade:

    This hypersensitivity about the failure of Detroit isn’t healthy.Accept it.

  22. 28

    hey this isnt about class asshole thats straight up hate

  23. 29

    “Detroit: city of smokestacks and failure.” Hey, here’s a big fuck you from Detroit. This country was built on the back of Detroit. Your points on corruption are valid, but keep the condescending embellishments to yourself.

    • 30

      Hello Detroiter, Can’t handle the truth? Oh, you’re too busy showing all the class possible using the f bomb.

      • 31

        Economic and Social Collapse are a Breeding Ground For Corruption. These are not the only Cities with Corruption Problems. The US Economy peaked in the early 1970s and has declined since. America was at such as high level of Wealth and Power that is has taken 40 years to Destroy the Empire but here we are walking thru the Rubble of the late Great American Empire. The Greatness or perceived Greatness was always based on Power and Wealth, America was never the Greatest ‘Society’ or ‘Community’ like I said it was a Large, Powerful Empire that has run its course. It Rose Quickly and Fell Quickly. The Media continually harps on Europe’s Problems and others but the fact is Greece is over 2500 years old, Germany or German Tribes and Kingdoms go back to the same period. The Romans were building Roads, Bridges, Plumbing, temples, Libraries and Schools 2000 Years before America was even Discovered by the Same Europeans Later(Not the 1st ..Native Americans Bet them from Asia)but the point being you had European and Asian Civilizations 2000 plus years before the USA was thought about. The Present Day USA was Built with European Money, Technology and People as a Colony of Europe and still to this day they hold Great influence over it…Federal Reserve is largely European, Europeans Hold the most Hard Assets in the USA(more then China, Japan and all others combined). America went through a Cycle and benefited from the fact that Europe constantly was fighting Wars and so forth. For a Brief Time starting in the late 1800s the European Bankers set up shop in the USA and especially after Russa Cut Europe in half during world war 2 and held it intil 1989 the European Money and know how came to the USA because they used it as a Base of Operations against their Enemies(Economically, Politically and Socially) until Russia and China lost the Cold War and Opened up to the West. Since that time America’s decline has accelerated since it has become or is becoming an Economic backwater and militarily America is no longer needed to Fight Russia or the Chinese(Non Banker
        Pseudo Communist Systems during the Cold War).

    • 32

      How’s this for an example. I wouldn’t take a crap in your city for the fact that you might try and steal my shorts. Detroit was used as an example in History Channel’s “Life Without People”. You know why? Because all of the human beings left years ago…

      • 33

        Actually “Life After People”….but hell you probably wouldn’t know that anyway. The rest of the country has left you to with on the vine and die of exposure.

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