Ex-state Rep. Luis Arroyo appears set to plead guilty in corruption case: court filing

Federal prosecutors first charged Arroyo with bribery in a criminal complaint back in October. In that court filing, they revealed a state senator had been cooperating with them off and on since 2016.

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State Rep. Luis Arroyo leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in October.

State Rep. Luis Arroyo leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in October.

Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Former state Rep. Luis Arroyo appears to be preparing to plead guilty in his federal corruption case, a new court record indicates.

Federal prosecutors filed a charging document Friday known as an information against Arroyo that repeated allegations first made against him in October. The filing is significant because an information typically means a defendant plans to plead guilty.

If Arroyo does enter such a plea, it would be the first conviction secured against an elected official as a result of the feds’ multiple public corruption investigations that became known with the November 2018 raid of Ald. Edward M. Burke’s office.

Arroyo’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. The one-page filing charges Arroyo with bribery.

The new filing comes one day after U.S. Chief District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer agreed to give prosecutors additional time, until Feb. 20, to file a indictment against Arroyo.

Prosecutors first charged Arroyo with bribery in a criminal complaint in October. In doing so, they revealed a state senator had been cooperating with them off and on since 2016. The complaint did not name the senator, but a source identified that person as Sen. Terry Link, D-Vernon Hills. Link has publicly denied it. Arroyo resigned from the House.

The case outlined last fall against Arroyo revolved around his lobbying work in Chicago as manager of Spartacus 3 LLC. Arroyo signed a deal between Spartacus 3 and V.S.S. Inc. in August 2018 that promised $2,500 in monthly payments from V.S.S. to Spartacus. V.S.S. had hired Arroyo’s company to lobby the Chicago City Council for a sweepstakes ordinance, according to the feds.

Sweepstakes machines are not regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board but look like regular slot machines.

Arroyo approached Link during last year’s spring legislative session about sweepstakes legislation and then reached out again late in July, according to the complaint, which refers to Link as Cooperating Witness 1. On Aug. 2, the pair met at a Highland Park restaurant with an unnamed individual and that person’s associate. Arroyo said he needed Link to support the legislation in the Senate.

Later, Link asked to speak alone with Arroyo. When they stepped outside, Link allegedly said, “This is you and I talkin’ now ... nobody else.” And Arroyo allegedly replied, “Whatever you tell me ... stays between you and me.”

Federal investigators were conducting surveillance, the document said.

Arroyo went on to explain that he is a “paid consultant” and told Link, “If you put a price on it, I mean, if you want to get paid, you want somebody else to get a check monthly, a monthly stipend, we could put them on contract. We could put you on a contract. You tell me what it is. Tell me what you need.”

Link allegedly acknowledged, “I’m lookin’ for something, you know? I’m in the twilight, you know.”

Arroyo allegedly explained how he had been making $2,500 a month and said, “That would be guarantee from me to you.” Link replied, “All right.” Arroyo went on to say, “My word is my bond and my, my reputation.”

The feds say the men met again Aug. 22 at a restaurant in Skokie, where Arroyo allegedly handed over a check for $2,500. It had been written over to a name the feds had told Link to give to Arroyo. The payments were expected to continue for six to 12 months.

“I’m going to give you this here,” Arroyo allegedly said. “This is, this is, this is the jackpot.”

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