City Hall

Mike Williams, Lobbyist Allegedly Connected to FBI's Bust of Ben Arredondo, Is an Important Guy in Tempe

Talking Points Memo uncovered some details yesterday about the FBI allegedly using lobbyist Mike Williams as the middle-man between Tempe City Council members and a fake corporation in its bust of former city councilman and current state Representative Ben Arredondo.

The question people may have is, "Who the f**k is Mike Williams?"

The short answer is that he's a lobbyist with a bunch of clients, but has a history in Tempe, where he's connected to just about everyone on the who's-who list of the city.

TPM said its sources are saying they thought Williams was working with the feds, as did a lawyer for former state Representative Richard Miranda, who was just recently sentenced to prison for defrauding a charity.

Williams denied it, but didn't exactly have an explanation for TPM, either.

Williams -- who starred in roles such as the "Desert Divas" client list -- was listed as the lobbyist for what's believed to be FBI's fake company "Longford Solutions."

TPM cited some folks who thought Williams pretty much helped the FBI get its case on his old friend Arredondo, who has been the only person indicted in this case thus far. Seeing as the feds have called it "three-year undercover FBI investigation," you'd think it's a little more than Arredondo allegedly taking $6,000 worth of bribes.

Judging from Williams' associations within Tempe, Arredondo's not the only person he knows in town.

First of all, Williams was contracted as the lobbyist for the City of Tempe from late 2003 until early 2011, according to the Secretary of State's records, so just about everyone at City Hall probably knows the guy.

Since February, he's also been the lobbyist for the Tempe Preparatory Academy. Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman's the headmaster of the school. Dick Foreman, who just lost his bid for Tempe City Council, is on the school's board of directors.

Williams has also been a lobbyist for an organization called Project Challenge Foundation since October. Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff is a board member for Project Challenge Foundation.

Williams was also a lobbyist for the Tempe Union High School District from 2003 to 2005.

His influence isn't at all limited to Tempe, but if Williams really helped out the FBI in an investigation that could potentially be focused on Tempe City Hall, things could get really interesting.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley