Former state Rep. Arroyo pleads not guilty to bribery charge

Former state Rep. Arroyo pleads not guilty to bribery charge

Arroyo resigned from his seat in the Illinois General Assembly after his arrest in October on bribery charges. He now faces up to 10 years in prison for bribery.

On Feb. 4, former Illinois House Assistant Majority Leader Luis Arroyo pleaded not guilty to a charge of bribery in a federal court. Arroyo was arrested in October after being accused in a federal complaint of bribing a state senator.

Arroyo, who served in the Illinois House of Representatives for over a decade, faces up to 10 years in prison if he is found guilty.

According to a federal complaint made public in October, Arroyo met with a state senator seeking support for gambling legislation that would benefit one of Arroyo’s lobbying clients. A Chicago Tribune source at the time identified the senator as state Sen. Terry Link, D-Vernon Hills, who is the chair of the subcommittee on gambling and was an assistant majority leader in the Illinois Senate at the time.

The two allegedly met at a Highland Park restaurant Aug. 22 and stepped outside to talk, where Arroyo offered Link a bribe while Link was wearing a wire for the FBI.

“I’m going to give you this here. This is, this is, this is the jackpot,” Arroyo said as he handed Link a bribe of $2,500, with the promise of monthly payments in the same amount.

The Tribune reported Link wore the wire to cooperate with federal authorities in exchange for a lighter sentence on charges of tax fraud. Investigators did not identify him as the source and Link denied being the cooperating witness.

Arroyo was the manager of Spartacus 3 LLC, a company hired by V.S.S. Inc., a technology support firm, to lobby the city of Chicago on gambling legislation. He allegedly bribed Link to win the senator’s support for a gaming ordinance in the city.

Arroyo was one of three state lawmakers who were key supporters of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s progressive income tax amendment and have since been charged with federal crimes over the past year. Arroyo, state Sen. Tom Cullerton, Villa Park, and former state Sen. Martin Sandoval were all instrumental in the amendment’s passage. Link, who himself has tax fraud charges pending according to federal authorities, also supported the tax plan.

A June poll by Ideas Illinois found nearly half of Illinoisans who plan to vote in the 2020 general election view Pritzker’s “fair tax” plan as an irresponsible “blank check” for lawmakers in Springfield. Support has only continued to drop as more lawmakers who voted for it continue to find themselves in handcuffs.

Arroyo’s not guilty plea comes just a week after Sandoval pleaded guilty to bribery and tax fraud. Sandoval allegedly accepted $250,000 in bribes and used his influence in the Illinois Senate to help benefit the red-light camera industry.

Arroyo will next appear for a hearing in March.

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