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After Bribery Charges, Bipartisan Calls For Arroyo Resignation

Luis Arroyo
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois

An Illinois state lawmaker is facing bipartisan calls for his resignation. It comes after he was charged Monday with attempted bribery.

Federal prosecutors say state Rep. Luis Arroyo of Chicago attempted to bribe a fellow lawmaker — an unnamed state senator who was cooperating with the FBI.

The deal, which was allegedly recorded on a wire worn by the senator, was monthly payments of $2,500 to support legislation relating to “sweepstakes” machines. Those are similar to video slot machines but can be played for free, don’t pay taxes and are of disputed legality.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin was first to say Arroyo should step down.

“I am now calling upon Rep. Luis Arroyo to resign by the end of business today,” Durkin told reporters Monday. “The actions today go to the heart of public trust in state government.”

Durkin later followed through on his ultimatum, filing paperwork to being a process that could lead to expulsion from the House.

Speaker Michael Madigan also called on Arroyo to resign and said he would support forcing him out.

Meanwhile at the federal courthouse in Chicago, Arroyo pleaded not guilty. He says he'll be vindicated.

The FBI complaint against Arroyo says the senator who allegedly accepted the bribe was a cooperating witness, and wore a wire to record his conversation with Arroyo.

Both the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune have identified the cooperating witness as state Sen. Terry Link, a Democrat from Vernon Hills. Public radio has not independently verified that information, and Link repeatedly denied those reports.

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