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Missouri Government Earns 'C-' in Integrity

A new study ranks Missouri No. 15 out of all 50 states for corruption risk.

After evaluating Missouri’s laws for preventing corruption, a team of journalists and watchdog activists gave Missouri a 'C-', ranking the state No. 15 out of 50.

Of the 14 categories graded, Missouri earned one ‘A’ (in internal auditing) and three ‘F’s (public access to information, political financing and state pension fund management.)

"While blatant corruption is relatively rare in this state of 6 million residents, questionable behavior abounds within state government–particularly among lawmakers–and an undermanned ethics agency struggles to investigate and punish offenders," said Mike Sherry, who reported on Missouri for the project.

The Missouri Governor's office did not immediately respond to repeated requests for comment.

The team that produced the study included The Center for Public IntegrityGlobal Integrity and Public Radio International.

The Corruption Risk Report Card examined three concepts:

  • Whether laws and institutions exist to limit corruption
  • How effective those laws and institutions are
  • How accessile they are to citizens

No state earned an overall score of ‘A.’

Missouri shares its ranking with Alabama and Louisiana, who also earned a ‘C-.’

New Jersey scored highest in corruption prevention with a ‘B+,’ and Georgia is in last place with an ‘F.’

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