Ben Arredondo, State Representative/Ex-Tempe Councilman, Hit With Federal Charges

ben-Arredondo.jpg
Ben Arredondo
State Representative Ben Arredondo was charged by a grand jury today with bribery, fraud, attempted extortion and false statements -- all for a few thousand dollars worth of tickets to ballgames and charity events.

According to the indictment, Arredondo -- a Republican-turned-Democrat who served on the Tempe City Council for 16 years before making it into the state House of Representatives in 2010 -- was getting the tickets from a company in exchange for helping it buy city-owned land for a real estate development.

The problem for Arredondo was that the "company" was run by undercover FBI agents.

"According to the indictment, in return for those tickets, Arredondo took and agreed to take action in his capacity as a Tempe city councilmember and as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives to facilitate the undercover agents' purported purchase of city-owned property and development project," the Justice Department announced. "The indictment alleges that Arredondo brokered meetings between the undercover agents and other public officials, divulged information regarding the city of Tempe's bidding process, and attempted to persuade other city officials to approve the purported development project."

This started in 2009, according to the indictment, when Arredondo had the agents buy tables at charity events a couple of times, and then Arredondo would choose who got to sit at those tables.

Then Arredondo hit up an Arizona Cardinals game, courtesy of the "company"/FBI, followed by four tickets to see the New York Yankees in a playoff game in Los Angeles, then 18 Arizona Diamondbacks tickets, and finally, two tickets to a college basketball game between Duke and Michigan State, the indictment says.

The grand total of the charity tables and the tickets: Around $6,000.

Meanwhile, Arredondo was working with city officials to make the deal happen, at one point saying the company would have "continued support" when he transitioned from the council to the House.

"You guys will ask, you guys will have," Arredondo's quoted as saying. "I don't know how else to say it. We'll be just fine because not only [are we] covered at the city, we're covered now at the state."

Arredondo told the agents he'd reach out to the council members to make sure the deal went through as he went to the House, and didn't disclose the $5,000 worth of tickets or the tables at the charity events.

Arredondo was hit with one count of bribery, two counts of mail fraud (two sets of tickets were mailed to his house), one count of extortion, and one count of giving false statements for allegedly telling FBI agents who knew nothin' about no tickets.

The maximum penalty would be 75 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Arredondo's arraignment is scheduled for May 30.

Indictment below:

Arredondo

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16 comments
Trunchar
Trunchar

So who were the Tempe city council members he talked to?  It said newly elected members in 2010?

Tiki
Tiki

Rather convenient that Ben Arredondo, who served with and strongly endorsed Mark Mitchell, gets indicted exactly one day after the Tempe Mayor City Council election. Especially when the need for tighter rules on gifts and gift disclosure were a major issue in the election.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

What about the Fiesta Bowl tickets to state legislators, a sitting president of the Senate Russell Pearce among others???

TruConserv
TruConserv

After watching Arpaio and Thomas bungle what should have been a lay-up getting Wilcox indicted, it's nice to see some AZ-based law enforcement can run a routine investigation and bust. Given the greed of the average politico, this shit ain't hard to do.

Speaking of Wilcox, when is Montgomery going to grow a pair and arrest her? He and his wingnut followers think she's a crook, so let's see the Country Attorney show us he deserved the confidence of the voters. Let's see him arrest a crooked politician.

Unless, of course, Arpaio and Thomas so badly mangled things that Wilcox got both $1MM and a free pass from ever being investigated again.

Don't count on Montgomery doing anything about Wilcox or the BoS - he not smart enough to catch them, but he's smart enough to know you can't just pull an Arpaio and arrest your political enemies.

LD19 Resident
LD19 Resident

Where are the criminal indictments for the MCSO shurf, Henderbulk, Candy Andy Thomas and Aubuchon? I want to see them being led away to theri federal prison cells for the rest of their lives.

Come on Mr. Holder. Don't hold back. Unleash the indictments for the Old Fool. I've got an expensive bottle of champagne waiting in my freezer.   

jonnyquest
jonnyquest

Yeah. Arredondo and Russell Pearce were the major facilitators of the Fiesta Bowl scandal. Birds of a feather.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Isn't he buddies with Steve Gallardo? Birds of a feather...

Parky
Parky

My guess is that the concilmember mentioned as a being a "councilmember elect" must be his niece Robin Arredondo-Savage. She was the only "councilmember elect" in 2010. The other two councilmembers elected in 2010 were incumbents. Robin Arredondo-Savage basically took her uncle's seat on the council.

As for the other two members of council in the meeting mentioned in the indictment, it just said that they were "councilmembers" not that they were newly elected. Through process of elimination, I can guarantee you that they were neither Hugh Hallman nor Onnie Shekerjian. Arredondo hated them and they hated Arredondo in 2010. So they wouldn't have been at a meeting he called. Corey Woods and Shana Ellis might have been there but they were very much on the outs with Arredondo at that time in 2010 as well due to fights over whether to fire the city manager (Arredondo wanted him fired and they voted to keep him). So that leaves Joel Navarro and Mark Mitchell (now the apparent Mayor elect) as the likely two other councilmembers. Both of them were very close to Arredondo in 2010 on council.

teknik1200
teknik1200

we need to rely on state and county attorneys to go after their friends before that would happen

teknik1200
teknik1200

joe is a much bigger threat,and far more criminal.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest

Ben Arredondo and Russell Pearce, state legislative champions of the Fiesta Bowl. Didn't Sheriff Joe endorse Arredondo?

Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger

Arredondo turned into a Democrat so I doubt Sheriff Joe endorsed for state legislature...

Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger

We are talking about Sheriff Joe of 2010 not Sheriff Joe of 2002 or Sheriff Joe of 1992. By 2010, he was already the new and improved Immigrant Sweeping Tea Party Birther edition of Sheriff Joe. He didn't endorse Arredondo for state legislature in 2010. He might have endorsed him in the past for Tempe City council though.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

 Arpaio was a life long dem until he ran for sheriff.  And after that, he did do ads for Napolitano when she ran for Gov.

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