Arroyo Resigns, Days After Arrest on Federal Bribery Charge

State Rep. Luis Arroyo was charged with public corruption and appeared in court Monday

Illinois state Rep. Luis Arroyo resigned Friday, days after he was arrested and charged with corruption. 

House Speaker Michael Madigan announced Arroyo's resignation in a statement, after beginning the process to remove Arroyo from office earlier in the week. 

"Representative Arroyo’s resignation shouldn’t distract from the fact that the allegations contained in this criminal complaint go beyond anything that could be considered a lapse of judgment or minor indiscretion," Madigan said.

"These allegations are beyond extraordinary, which is why it called for the creation of the Special Investigative Committee and possible disciplinary action," Madigan continued, adding, "Although the disciplinary process will no longer proceed, there is still a focus on strengthening our laws to prevent this unacceptable conduct." 

Arroyo was arrested on a federal public corruption charge Monday, becoming the latest top state Democrat targeted by federal prosecutors. 

Prosecutors told a magistrate that the 65-year-old Chicago Democrat is accused of "offering an illicit payment to an official."

According to the complaint against him, authorities say Arroyo bribed a state senator in August with an offer of $2,500 a month in exchange for the senator's support of sweepstakes-related legislation. 

"I'm going to give you this here," Arroyo tells the senator, the complaint says. "This is, this is, this is the jackpot."

The complaint describes Arroyo as having a vested interest in the arrangement as manager of Spartacus 3 LLC, a lobbying company, which included as its clients the owner of a firm that deals in video sweepstakes machines. There's no indication in legislative records that Arroyo introduced any sweepstakes legislation, and when the idea was inserted into a gambling-expansion measure 18 months ago, there was little enthusiasm for it.

Arroyo appeared in Chicago federal court Monday morning on one count of federal program bribery. He looked calm as he stood by his lawyer during the five-minute hearing, his hands folded in front of him. Released on a personal recognizance bond in the afternoon, he didn't speak to reporters as he left the courthouse.

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.

If convicted, he faces a maximum 10-year prison term.

Federal authorities have charged or raided the homes and offices of more than half a dozen Illinois Democrats this year. Some have been allies and confidants of Madigan, turning up the pressure on the powerful state House Speaker who also heads the Democratic Party of Illinois.

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