Ben Arredondo resigned from the Arizona House of Representatives after pleading guilty Friday to two felony corruption charges stemming from an undercover FBI sting.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Ben Arredondo, a Tempe Democrat and former Tempe councilman, resigned from the Arizona House of Representatives after pleading guilty Friday to two felony corruption charges stemming from an undercover FBI sting.
Rep. Ben Arredondo, 65, submitted his resignation in a hand-delivered letter dated Oct. 5 to Republican Speaker of the House Andy Tobin and Democratic Minority Leader Chad Campbell.
Arredondo's letter read:
"I hereby resign my seat as a Member of the Arizona House of Representatives for Legislative District 17. My resignation is effective today.
"It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of Legislative District 17 and to work with my colleagues and the legislative staff. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve my community.
Representative Ben Arredondo District 17
Arredondo could serve up to 20 years in prison and pay more than $500,000 in fines after an undercover FBI investigation conducted near and after the end of his term as a Tempe city councilman.
He pleaded guilty to soliciting and accepting thousands of dollars in sports tickets from undercover FBI agents posing as real estate developers trying to acquire city-owned land in exchange for his City Council vote and influencing others to vote the same way. He also was accused of disclosing confidential city information to the agents
He also pleaded guilty to a count of mail fraud, where he solicited money from constituents for a scholarship he established that was supposed to go to underprivileged children. Instead, nearly $50,000 went to seven of his family members to go to school.
Campbell on Friday said Arredondo was asked to step down.
Arredondo is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 22.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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