ALBANY, N.Y. — Each workday, thousands of state workers commute from their suburban neighborhoods to the many state buildings scattered throughout New York’s capital city. Based on Albany’s remarkable penchant for corruption, odds are that at least a few of them have a story the feds would be interested in hearing.

Enter the billboards.

Authorities have turned to using digital billboards along the interstate to urge citizens to report crooked politicians, dirty bureaucrats and other bad actors, the latest indication of just how big a problem political corruption has become in Albany.

The signs, which went up earlier this year, are emblazoned with the words “REPORT CORRUPTION,” all in capital letters, above the number for a telephone tip line and FBI website. They went up only weeks after the Legislature’s two top leaders were convicted of trying to cash in on their positions.

The idea came from the New York Public Corruption Task Force, which includes the FBI, the state comptroller and the state attorney general.

Police in Janesville, Wisconsin, reported that calls tripled after anti-crime messages appeared on billboards there.


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