Las Vegas Sun

July 30, 2014

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Where corruption is mentioned in media, Las Vegas outpaced by Chicago, eight other cities

Find anyone on the street of Las Vegas and they’ll belly laugh, or run away quickly, because someone stopped them to ask the question: “Is Las Vegas corrupt?”

We’ve had bribery scandals that landed four county commissioners in federal prison; we’ve had suicides, court battles and convictions related to a years-long case involving homeowner association boards and attorneys trying to cash in on home-defect allegations.

We all “know” lobbyists and casinos run our state Legislature.

Even local firefighters have been called corrupt after county officials and an independent arbitrator pointed to firefighters' apparent use of sick-leave to run up overtime hours. The FBI is still investigating the matter.

There are many more instances and that’s just within the last decade. When the city was run by mobsters, fughettaboutit.

So this may be a surprise.

We’re not the most corrupt, at least as measured by the number of times that the word “corruption” appeared in media reports in relation to a particular city. The less-than-scientific study was issued by press release to advertise highbeam.com, an online research tool. Of 10 cities listed in the study, Las Vegas came in 10th.

Here’s the list of cities and the number of times the word “corruption” and a particular city appeared in media mentions over the last two years.

1. Chicago, 3,121

2. Los Angeles, 1,412

3. Boston, 1,130

4. Washington, D.C., 946

5. New York City, 899

6. Philadelphia, 634

7. Miami, 617

8. San Francisco, 492

9. Detroit, 434

10. Las Vegas, 387

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  1. What?!? A negative list that we don't top? Maybe we should re-elect Tom Collins after all.

  2. Very surprised that New Orleans is not on there. Maybe it is because many of their state officials have gone to prison instead of the city officials.

    There are whole families in Louisiana that have gone to prison when the elected father has gone down.

    I am not saying everything is on the Up and UP in Vegas but anyone that thinks we should be towards the top of the list is living in a cave. There are many cities that make us look like saints.

  3. Maybe if they rated corruption per capita Las Vegas would rank closer to #1.

  4. That number for NY is pretty low. I'm surprised. The media also doesn't really focus on certain places, such as New Orleas as vegaslee states. They focus on cities that already have a reputation for corruption, hence Chicago being at the top of the list. If they REALLY did more "looking", more cities would be on this list.

    If Vegas had a larger population with more politicians, it would be higher on the list. I always think back during the housing/building boom and how quickly houses were built and the questionable zoning in a lot of places. You buy a nice home with a view of the mountains and two weeks later they build a strip mall right behind your back yard or you're looking at a Chevron sign from your patio because a gas station popped up. The corruption in the zoning departments in LV and NLV are probably the most corrupt in the country, or so it was at one time.