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Chicago legislator arrested on federal corruption charges


Another Illinois official has been arrested on federal corruption charges. 

Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago, appeared in a hearing at the Dirksen Federal Court Building Monday morning. He was, according to the Chicago Tribune, arrested Friday and is being charged with bribery of a state official, which carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. 

In the announcement, John R. Lausch, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said Arroyo paid an unnamed state senator $2,500 on Aug. 22 at a restaurant in Skokie in exchange for his support of sweepstakes-related legislation that would benefit one of Arroyo’s lobbying clients. Arroyo’s firm, Spartacus 3 LLC, was paid $7,500 on behalf of V.S.S. Inc. to lobby Chicago aldermen in matters related to “sweepstakes machines legislation.”

FILE - Illinois Rep. Luis Arroyo

Illinois Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago

The payments would be made on a “per-month” basis, according to the release, and were given to someone else on the senator’s behalf to avoid detection.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said if Arroyo doesn’t step down by the end of the day Durkin will file a motion via House rules to begin a special investigation that could lead to Arroyo’s removal.

Durkin said the motion would have to be approved by House Democrats, but he couldn’t say how long the process would take. Durkin said he’s been told nothing by Democratic leadership about Arroyo’s arrest.

“It’s as fast as the Democratic leadership wants it to go,” Durkin said. “I will ask that we move expeditiously and we’ll move accordingly. We can do this in the nest few months. It has to go through the rules committee and has to be approved by the Speaker.”

A lawmaker since 2006, Arroyo is the chairman of the House Appropriations-Capital Committee, which plays a central role in diverting state funding to infrastructure plans. He reportedly had a hand in constructing Illinois’ $45 billion infrastructure plan. 

His next court date is not immediately set.