Arizona Capitol

Ben Arredondo Scheduled to Plead Guilty in Bribery Case

A change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow in the bribery case involving state Representative Ben Arredondo, meaning he's scheduled to plead guilty.

Arredondo was indicted in May on charges of bribery, fraud, attempted extortion, and making false statements for allegedly getting the tickets from a company -- a fake company, set up by the FBI -- in exchange for helping it buy city-owned land for a real estate development.

See also:
-Ben Arredondo, State Representative/Ex-Tempe Councilman, Hit With Federal Charges
-Ben Arredondo Isn't the Only One the Feds Are Looking At
-FBI's Ben Arredondo Bust Apparently Cracked Open a Bit

Only the hearing for the change-of-plea has been scheduled, so details on any sort of deal won't come out until tomorrow.

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 part of a three-year FBI investigation that apparently involves other individuals, according to court filings.

The indictment against Arredondo claimed he had set up meetings between undercover FBI agents and other public officials, tried to get them a favorable position in the bidding process, and tried to get his colleagues at the city to help approve this acquisition by the FBI's fake company.

The grand total to allegedly bribe your local city councilman: Around $6,000 worth of tables at charity outings and tickets to sporting events.

"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."

The maximum penalty for the charges against Arredondo would have been 75 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted on all counts.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley