Arizona Capitol

Legislators Met With Lobbyist for Apparently Fake Company in Ben Arredondo Bust

Folks at Tempe City Hall weren't the only ones to meet with representatives of the apparently fake company believed to be set up by the FBI in its bust of state Representative/former Tempe Councilman Ben Arredondo.

According to lobbyist filings with the Secretary of State's office, Mike Williams met with four state Representatives on behalf of "Longford Solutions" in early 2009, more than a year before meeting with several Tempe council members at IHOP on behalf of the same company.

Williams also made a couple trips east to attend conferences on behalf of Longford Solutions in 2009, once for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and once for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

According to Williams' filings, he grabbed food or beverages with a pair of Republicans -- then-state Representative and current state Senator John McComish and current House Speaker Andy Tobin -- worth $32.98 each on February 16, 2009, while Williams was representing Longford Solutions.

On March 3, 2009, Williams had food or beverages with Democratic ex-Representative Cloves Campbell Jr. worth $24.09, and met with Republican state Representative Jim Weiers for a $54.58 food or beverages meeting three days after that.

Weiers and Campbell told Talking Points Memo they didn't remember the specific meeting. During 2009, Williams was registered as the lobbyist for more than two dozen organizations.

Williams previously denied any involvement with the FBI to TPM, which broke the story on Williams' alleged involvement in the FBI bust. Weiers told TPM he recently spoke to Williams on the subject, but again, he didn't give up any useful information.

In Arredondo's indictment, the feds allege Arredondo told the FBI's fake company to buy a pair of tables at charity events for him, one for $550, and the other for $600.

Those costs don't seem to reflect that those are the ALEC or NCSL conferences in Williams' filings, as he totaled those up at $123.10 and $196.70, respectively.

Williams also added up expenditures of less than $20 totaling $258.35 in 2009, but which legislators were on the receiving end of those purchased aren't disclosed.

The 2010 lobbyist filings for Longford Solutions -- which Williams would have filed -- are listed as exempt from reporting.

Click here to see Williams' 2009 filing on behalf of Longford Solutions.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley