The wide-ranging and still-expanding public corruption investigations unfolding before our eyes have even the most jaded observers of Illinois government rubbing their eyes.

Subpoenas, searches and speculation have touched the state’s largest utility, one of its most respected civic clubs a handful of state legislators and Chicago aldermen, a posse of political hangers-on and one of the most powerful politicians in the state — longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Only a few indictments have come — so far. Those charged say they are innocent, and none have gone to trial yet.

We don’t need to wait for court verdicts to see what is plainly before us: a comprehensive culture of insider dealing that appears corrupt. Some of it may be legal, some of it probably not, but the bottom-line perfidy clear.

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David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.