Arizona Capitol

Ben Arredondo Isn't the Only One the Feds Are Looking At

If you're doing shady stuff at the City of Tempe or the Arizona Legislature, go buy a shredder, or book a ticket to Morocco or something.

A filing submitted in federal court yesterday in the bribery, fraud, attempted extortion and false statements case of state Representative Ben Arredondo explains that the feds don't want a bunch of information to be publicly disclosed in the case because of "other investigations," which are "both closed and ongoing."

Who or what they're looking into isn't disclosed, or even hinted at, but the filing submitted by the Justice Department attorney says Arredondo has "no objection" to keeping this stuff out of the public eye.

"The Government plans to produce or otherwise make available to the defense a large amount of material, much of which contains confidential and sensitive information related to other investigations (both closed and ongoing)," says the filing, first obtained by the Capitol Times. "If this information were to be publicly disclosed, such disclosure might impede those investigations which are ongoing and/or impair the privacy rights of third parties whose conduct is or was at one time under investigation."

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 -- was getting the tickets from a company in exchange for helping it buy city-owned land for a real estate development, according to his federal indictment, filed last week.

That was discovered because there was no "company" -- it was all set up by FBI agents.

"You guys will ask, you guys will have," Arredondo's quoted as saying. "I don't know how else to say it. We'll be just fine because not only [are we] covered at the city, we're covered now at the state."

Arredondo allegedly told the agents he'd reach out to the council members to make sure the deal went through as he went to the House, and didn't disclose the $5,000 worth of tickets or the tables at the charity events he received from the imaginary company.

Arredondo was hit with one count of bribery, two counts of mail fraud , one count of extortion, and one count of giving false statements for allegedly telling FBI agents he knew nothin' 'bout no tickets.

As for that filing submitted yesterday, it hasn't yet been approved by the judge, but it sure does reduce the likelihood of finding out who's next on the chopping block.

The filing even goes as far as demanding Arredondo and his team to pull some CIA-like maneuvers with any documents he receives by accident that contain juicy information.

"Should defendant Arredondo, his attorney of record, or any of the other individuals or entities listed above find any material inadvertently produced by the Government that is marked as classified, they shall immediately double-seal the material and all copies of the material and inform the Government," the document says.

Anyway, if you have any guesses for who's next, feel free to throw their names into the comments section.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley