How Qui Tam Actions Could Fight Public Corruption

This Note argues that public corruption at the state and local levels is a serious problem throughout the United States. Because public corruption decreases confidence in the democratic system at all levels of government, a strong response is necessary. Due to difficulties inherent in the deterrence, detection, and prosecution of state and local corruption, innovative methods to respond to this problem are needed. The author argues that amending the federal criminal statutes most commonly used to prosecute state and local public corruption, to allow a private citizen to bring a qui tam civil action against the public official for violations of those criminal statutes, would contribute substantially to the deterrence, detection, and prosecution of public corruption.