A new study by nonprofit Integrity Florida ranks the Sunshine State as the country's most corrupt.
According to the "Corruption Risk Report: Florida Ethics Laws," 1,762 of Florida's public officials have been convicted of public corruption since 1976. From 2000 to 2010, there have been an average of 71 convictions each year -- and 107 convictions in 2000 alone, the worst year on record.
Along with recent conviction rates, the study cites a C- grade on ethics enforcement from the State Integrity Investigation and the fact that three Florida cities ranked on Forbes' “Most Miserable Cities” thanks to polticial corruption.
See Integrity Florida's study below.
Florida was followed in the rankings by California, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania. The findings come on the heels of a February 2012 study which found Florida to be the fourth most corrupt state in the country, with New York taking the dubious honor at the top. That study used records as far back as 1976, while Integrity Florida used data from 2000 to 2010.
“In the modern era (2000-2010), there has been an upward trend towards more federal public corruption convictions in Florida,” read the Integrity Florida report.
Miami-Dade has had more than its share of spectacular political corruption in recent decades. Former Miami City Commissioner Humberto Hernandez pled guilty in 1997 to charges he raked in $8 million in mortgages by over-inflating property values. He was also charged with voter fraud after a comfortable election win.
Former Miami Beach Mayor Alex Daoud did time in 1991 after being accused of accepting more than $100,000 worth of free work on his home, extorting money, taking in $100,000 in cash bribes, and filing false tax returns for six years -- all chronicled in his book, "Sins of South Beach."
Even when deeds seem borne of good intentions in Miami-Dade, they backfire. Earlier this year Miami Shores comptroller Carolyn Ann Modeste was banned for life from public service because she stole more than $200,000 of the village's money after falling prey to an African orphan scam.
READ: Integrity Florida's study on the state's corruption:
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