Ben Arredondo Resigns From State House
|Now-former state Representative Ben Arredondo.|
Arredondo, who pleaded guilty to two felony charges last week, was ordered to resign from the House as part of his plea agreement.
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-FBI's Ben Arredondo Bust Apparently Cracked Open a Bit
Arredondo joins Scott Bundgaard, Richard Miranda, and Daniel Patterson on this Legislature's list of disgraced former lawmakers, although Arredondo and Miranda -- both Democrats -- are the only ones with felony convictions.
Miranda got prison time for stealing from a charity while Arredondo hasn't yet been sentenced.
Arredondo pleaded guilty to one count of "honest services mail fraud" -- related to the ticket-bribery exchange he had going on with undercover FBI agents -- but also pleaded guilty to another count of mail fraud for setting up a scholarship fund that sent a bunch of money to his own relatives.
The scholarship scam was just revealed the day Arredondo entered into the plea agreement, as he admitted to using a healthy portion of the money -- which was supposed to go to "average" students whose parents hadn't saved up a college fund -- to his own relatives.
For example, the plea notes that from 2003 to 2011, the fund paid $81,200 to Arizona State University. Of that, $39,250 was used on six of Arredondo's relatives, and the remaining $49,150 went toward the fees of 20 people not related to Arredondo.
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 -- is scheduled to be sentenced in late January.