Don't have an account yet? Get the most out of your experience with a personalized all-access pass to everything local on events, music, restaurants, news and more. State Representative Ben Arredondo was charged by a grand jury today with bribery, fraud, attempted extortion and false statements -- all for a few thousand dollars worth of tickets to ballgames and charity events. According to the indictment, Arredondo -- a Republican-turned-Democrat who served on the Tempe City Council for 16 years before making it into the state House of Representatives in -- was getting the tickets from a company in exchange for helping it buy city-owned land for a real estate development. This started in , according to the indictment, when Arredondo had the agents buy tables at charity events a couple of times, and then Arredondo would choose who got to sit at those tables. Meanwhile, Arredondo was working with city officials to make the deal happen, at one point saying the company would have "continued support" when he transitioned from the council to the House.
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Don't have an account yet? Get the most out of your experience with a personalized all-access pass to everything local on events, music, restaurants, news and more. Former state Representative Ben Arredondo ended up receiving no prison time for his charges related to his ticket-bribery exchange and scholarship scam.
Instead, Arredondo -- a year-old Republican-turned-Democrat who served on the Tempe City Council for 16 years before making it into the state House of Representatives in -- was sentenced to home confinement, probation, and was order to pay fines.
While federal prosecutors argued that Arredondo should have received in the neighborhood of three years in prison -- with 30 months being the minimum -- U. District Judge Frederick Martone disagreed. Martone reportedly said Arredondo's crimes were "pathetic," but it wasn't "Jack the Ripper"-caliber stuff. Martone suggested that investigators could have gone after Wall Street mortgage brokers for financial crimes instead of Arredondo, who probably isn't the most corrupt Arizona politician in recent years -- although he did get caught.
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Tempe politician Ben Arredondo pleaded guilty to two felonies and agreed to resign his legislative seat Friday, becoming the latest in a string of Arizona politicians to face criminal and ethics charges. Trembling as he addressed the court, Arredondo pleaded guilty in federal court to honest services fraud and mail fraud. Honest services fraud is a federal charge often used in cases related to public corruption. He was indicted May 16 on charges of bribery, mail fraud, lying and extortion stemming from an FBI sting that took place between February , when Arredondo was a Tempe City Council member, and November , shortly after he won the House seat. The longtime GOP politico switched parties prior to winning the legislative seat. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors now has about three weeks to appoint a Democratic replacement. The supervisors will make the appointment from among three nominees selected by precinct committee members from Legislative District 17, which Arredondo represented.
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State lawmaker Ben Arredondo pleads guilty to two felonies