Ben Arredondo Resigns From State House
State Representative Ben Arredondo has become the fourth member of the state Legislature's current class to resign because of some sort of scandal.
Arredondo, who pleaded guilty to two felony charges last week, was ordered to resign from the House as part of his plea agreement.
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Arredondo joins Scott Bundgaard, Richard Miranda, and Daniel Patterson on this Legislature's list of disgraced former lawmakers, although Arredondo and Miranda -- both Democrats -- are the only ones with felony convictions.
Miranda got prison time for stealing from a charity while Arredondo hasn't yet been sentenced.
Arredondo pleaded guilty to one count of "honest services mail fraud" -- related to the ticket-bribery exchange he had going on with undercover FBI agents -- but also pleaded guilty to another count of mail fraud for setting up a scholarship fund that sent a bunch of money to his own relatives.
The scholarship scam was just revealed the day Arredondo entered into the plea agreement, as he admitted to using a healthy portion of the money -- which was supposed to go to "average" students whose parents hadn't saved up a college fund -- to his own relatives.
For example, the plea notes that from 2003 to 2011, the fund paid $81,200 to Arizona State University. Of that, $39,250 was used on six of Arredondo's relatives, and the remaining $49,150 went toward the fees of 20 people not related to Arredondo.
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 2010 -- is scheduled to be sentenced in late January.
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