Arizona lawmaker Rep. Ben Arredondo resigns after guily plea

PHOENIX - An Arizona legislator and former Tempe councilman has resigned after pleading guilty to two felony charges stemming from an FBI sting.

The U.S. Justice Department says Rep. Ben Arredondo admitted on Friday that he solicited and accepted a bribe while a councilman.

"I hereby resign my seat as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives for Legislative District 17," he wrote in his resignation letter. "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 the opportunity to serve my community."

Arredondo was charged in a five-count indictment in May. It said he solicited thousands of dollars in event tickets from representatives of a company doing business with Tempe. The representatives were actually FBI agents.

The 65-year-old also pleaded guilty to fraud for setting up a scholarship fund for his relatives while telling donors it was for "average" youth. That charge was just filed Friday.

The conviction meant the Democrat had to resign.

A plea agreement recommends a federal judge sentence Arredondo to at least 27 months in prison on Jan. 22.

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