Arredondo resigns from Ariz. Legislature after guilty plea

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Rep. Ben Arredondo By Mike Gertzman Rep. Ben Arredondo By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- An Arizona legislator submitted his resignation after pleading guilty Friday to two federal felony charges alleging he solicited and accepted a bribe while he was a Tempe city councilman and misled donors about a scholarship fund to benefit his relatives.

The conviction meant Rep. Ben Arredondo, D-Tempe, had to resign from the Legislature. He hand-delivered his resignation letter to the Capitol.

The letter read in part, "It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of Legislative District 17 and to work with my colleagues and the legislative staff. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve my community."

The May indictment charged Arredondo, 65, with soliciting and accepting about $6,000 in sports and event tickets from FBI undercover agents and with disclosing confidential information while he was a Tempe City Council member.

Arredondo must repay money his relatives used from the scholarship fund, which he told donors was for "average" youth.

The agreement recommends that a federal judge sentence Arredondo to between 27 months and 51 months in prison. The maximum sentence is 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

He is set to be sentenced on Jan. 22.