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Dirty politics: Edwin Edwards, 85, was Louisiana governor before being jailed for bribery and extortion. He married Trina, 24, in 2011

Shady business: Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (right) and his attorney arrive at court in February. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of taking
 bribes and free trips in exchange for city contracts

By Daily Mail Reporter

Louisiana has emerged as America's most corrupt state with the highest rate of convictions for people in public office, official figures revealed this week. 

The Southern state came top for public corruption convictions with nine per 100,000 population. Overall Louisiana convicted 403 public officials in the past ten years.

The data was compiled by the Justice Department, covering the period from 2002 until 2011.

Florida had the largest number of convictions in the ten-year period at 618 but Louisiana came out ahead per head of population, according to Business Insider earlier this week. 

The Dakotas - North and South - came in second and third place for corrupt public figures with Kentucky and Alaska close behind. 

The lowest conviction rates for public corruption are South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Utah - with 1 per 100,000 population.

Corrupt public figures in Louisiana have littered the headlines in the past few years. 

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded not guilty in February 2013 to charges he accepted more than $200,000 in bribes, plus free trips and other perks in exchange for helping contractors secure millions of dollars in work for the city.

Charges included bribery, wire fraud and filing false tax returns. 

The charges against Nagin were the product of a City Hall corruption investigation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

It also resulted in guilty pleas by two former city officials, two businessmen and a prison sentence for a former city vendor.

Nagin's trial is due to begin next month after months of delays. 

Perhaps the state's most infamous is Edwin Edwards  - who was governor four times in the 1970s, '80s and '90s - before being sent to federal prison for his role in a bribery and extortion scheme to rig riverboat casino licenses during his fourth term in the early 1990s.

Edwards, 86, married his third wife Trina, 35, in July 2011, shortly after his release following eight-years in federal prison. 

The couple had a son in August. They are also the upcoming stars of  A&E reality TV show, The Governor's Wife, due to air in the Fall. 

There are a variety of crimes which constitute public corruption, according to the DOJ report.

Election crimes covers corruption related to campaign financing, fraud and conspiracy when it comes to the electoral process at local, state and federal level.

Between 2002 and 2011, 412 federal officials were charged with public corruption in the U.S. So far, 302 have been convicted while there 110 others awaiting trial.

At state level, 93 authority figures have been charged, 143 officials convicted and 41 are awaiting trial. 

On the local front, there have been 295 public corruption charges brought across the U.S., with 296 convictions made in the past decade and 191 people awaiting trial.



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