The Washington watchdog group, Center for Public Integrity, gives Missouri a C minus grade in its assessment of all 50 states and their risks for corruption. No state gets an “A” in the Center’s study. Missouri ranks 15th with a 72 percent rating.
The center says it interviewed 40 people including journalists, lobbyists, state officials, legislators, and academics, surveyed state laws, the constitution, legislative and judicial rules and guidelines, and other documents.
The study says that blatant corruption is relatively rare in Missouri but “questionable behavior abounds in state government — particularly among lawmakers.” It says the state ethics commission is understaffed and struggles to investigate and punish offenders.