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Incarcerated former Illinois governor released into new era of transparency

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January 30, 2013


By Maresa Strano

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois: Once a hotbed of government corruption, the state of Illinois reached two milestones in its path to rehabilitation this week.

First, former Governor George Ryan was released from federal prison, having served a six and a half year sentence for corruption charges -- ranging from conspiracy and racketeering to tax fraud -- that traced back to his time serving as the Illinois Secretary of State.[1][2]

Second, the non-profit organization Sunshine Review released its 2013 Transparency Report Card, with Illinois scoring in the top five best performing states for transparency. The evaluation methodology is based on a "10-point transparency checklist" of services such as the availability of tax revenues, audits, and contact information for administrative officials which Sunshine Review associates use to audit state government-sponsored websites. California was awarded the highest score of all fifty states, while Nebraska scored the lowest overall.[3]

At this rate, by the time Rod Blagojevich, Ryan's successor and now Illinois’ only imprisoned governor, finishes his 14-year term for corruption, the state could make number one.[1]

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