Prosecutors say crimes mar ex-legislator's service

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

PHOENIX (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say former state Rep. Ben Arredondo's record of public service was marred by his crimes and can't be a basis for leniency.
Arredondo faces a Jan. 23 sentencing. He pleaded guilty to fraud charges that he solicited and accepted a bribe while he was a Tempe city councilman and misled donors about a scholarship fund to benefit his relatives.
A plea agreement recommends between 27 months and 51 months in prison.
Prosecutors have objected to a draft presentence report's assertion that Arredondo's history of public service as a teacher, coach and public official could help justify a lower sentence.
The prosecutors say Arredondo doesn't deserve any such leniency. They say he sought and accepted bribes as part of a pattern of conduct that abused the public trust.