Democratic State Lawmaker Charged With Bribery

Oct 28, 2019
Originally published on October 28, 2019 5:11 pm

A state lawmaker has been arrested on a federal public corruption charge, becoming the latest top state Democrat targeted by federal prosecutors.

Rep. Luis Arroyo appeared in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Monday. Prosecutors told a magistrate that the 65-year-old Chicago Democrat is accused of "offering an illicit payment to an official."

The Republican leader of the Illinois House says he'll seek the ouster of a Democratic lawmaker accused of bribery if he doesn't resign by the end of the day.

Rep. Jim Durkin of Western Springs told reporters Monday that he feels "anger and utter disdain" at the bribery allegation against Rep. Luis Arroyo.

“The charges filed against Representative Arroyo are very serious. We have already contacted Representative Arroyo’s counsel to determine whether he will resign as state representative," said House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. "I urge Representative Arroyo to resign from the House of Representatives, effective immediately. If he refuses, I will take the necessary steps to begin the process to remove him from office."

A federal complaint unsealed Monday accuses Arroyo of offering a state senator $2,500 a month to support his sweepstakes-related legislation.

The 12-page complaint unsealed Monday says Arroyo made the offer to the unidentified state senator on Aug. 2 and handed over an initial check on Aug. 22 for backing the legislation in the Illinois Senate. It calls the state senator a cooperating witness.

Arroyo stood next to his lawyer in court in a gray suit, his hands folded in front of him. Prosecutors didn't immediately offer any details.

They told the judge the maximum penalty if Arroyo is convicted is 10 years in prison.

Arroyo is from Chicago's west side and has served in the Legislature since 2006. He is chairman of a House appropriations committee and is on the public utilities committee and transportation committee.

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