Arizona Capitol

Ben Arredondo Records About Other Federal Investigations Should be Held in Secret, Goverment Says Again

A federal judge is being asked for a second time to order that records in the criminal case of Arizona Legislator Ben Arredondo that refer to other investigations will be kept secret.

This seems to be more proof that while the feds probably were happy to nail Arredondo for his alleged corrupt acts, the former Tempe councilman's troubles likely stem from a far-larger investigation still being worked.

Records requested to be held back from public view include:

* Those relating to investigations of third parties, both open and closed.

* Those relating to people cooperating with the government in the investigations.

* Those relating to people who provided "background information" about the other investigations, if they requested anonymity.

* Financial information on all third parties who are in the records.

Arredondo and his lawyers agreed to the government's motion for secrecy. He would still get to review the hidden documents to see if they can help his defense, but he couldn't disclose them to anyone else.

Arredondo pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to the charges of bribery, extortion, and fraud.

According to the allegations, it appears Arredondo sold his soul for a few lousy baseball tickets and other perks.

But following the government's previous attempt to hide the third-party investigation material, the public now knows an even bigger shoe is set to drop.

UPDATE: June 5 -- Magistrate Lawrence Anderson grants the government's request.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern