The U.S. Attorney’s offices collectively secured their third-highest number of convictions in public corruption cases in 2011 over the two decades, according to statistics released by the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section.
The report to Congress details the public corruption cases, charges and convictions in 2011 at the department’s 93 U.S. Attorneys offices, in addition to the central Public Integrity Section unit.
The historical high for federal prosecutions of corrupt public officials was in 1993 with 1,362 convictions total within the network of U.S. Attorney’s offices. The number lingered at or near 1,000 convictions until it peaked again in 2008 at 1,129. The number of convictions reached 1,107 in 2011, the third highest number in the last two decades.
Among the U.S. Attorney’s offices over just the past decade, New Jersey lead all jurisdictions with 429 convictions, followed by Puerto Rico with 396 and the Central District of California with 375. New Jersey saw a big uptick in public corruption convictions in 2009 with the wide-ranging Operation Bid Rig. The sting operation ended with two dozen New Jersey politicians behind bars in connection with public corruption charges. In 2010, Puerto Rican authorities arrested 133 people, including 89 police officers, in what has become known as the largest anti-corruption probe in the FBI’s history.
On the lower end, the Northern District of Iowa had the least convictions of the last decade with 8. Vermont and the Northern District of West Virginia tied with 13 convictions, the Western District of Arkansas had 15 convictions and Wyoming and New Hampshire each had 16 convictions.