Arizona Lawmaker Charged With Bribery, Attempted Extortion

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused an Arizona lawmaker of bribery, fraud and attempted extortion for allegedly taking thousands of dollars in gifts in exchange for his help purchasing city property.

Ben Arredondo, 63 and a Democrat, was a councilman in the city of Tempe, Ariz. for 16 years before being elected to the state House of Representatives in 2010.

A statement from the Justice Department said undercover agents from the FBI posed as company bigwigs looking to buy city-owned property in Tempe and offering him about $6,000 in tickets to Major League Baseball games for his help. In exchange, prosecutors said he gave the agents inside information and tried to pursude other government officials to help.

This isn’t the first time tickets to sporting events have landed Arredondo in hot water. He was one of about 30 lawmakers investigated but ultimately cleared last year for taking tickets from the Fiesta Bowl.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him at nick@talkingpointsmemo.com
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