Arroyo resigns after allegations he bribed senator; GOP fingers Link as FBI source
In a remarkable political turnaround, state Rep. Luis Arroyo has resigned in the wake of his bribery arrest on allegations he gave an unnamed senator $2,500 to promote gambling legislation.
"I have made the decision that the time has come for me to retire from public service," Arroyo said in a letter dated Thursday to Speaker Michael Madigan. The letter was made public Friday.
The powerful Chicago Democrat and assistant majority leader wrote he didn't want to be a "distraction" if it came to a vote on ousting him.
"It was my sincere desire to spare the members of this body from having to take such a difficult vote at a time when you are all running for reelection," Arroyo said.
Meanwhile, House Republicans are insisting Democratic Sen. Terry Link of Lake County vacate his position on the Legislative Ethics Commission after allegations he was the unnamed lawmaker -- who unbeknownst to Arroyo was cooperating with the FBI.
The anonymous state senator and FBI witness wore a wire during exchanges with Arroyo and seemingly agreed to forward sweepstakes gambling legislation in the Senate in August for a down payment of $2,500 with more to come. The senator, who has cooperated with the FBI since 2016, is also facing tax evasion charges.
Link was named as the FBI source by the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times but denies he is the witness.
Deputy House Republican Leader Tom Demmer of Dixon said that to restore public confidence, Link "needs to step down immediately from his position on the (ethics commission) while this widespread federal investigation continues."
Link did not return a request for comment.
Madigan had asked Arroyo to step down Monday and commented that his "resignation shouldn't distract from the fact that the allegations contained in this criminal complaint go beyond anything that could be considered a lapse of judgment or minor indiscretion. These allegations are beyond extraordinary."
Authorities charged the 65-year-old Arroyo on Oct. 25. Arroyo manages Spartacus 3 LLC, a lobbying firm that represented a sweepstakes gambling enterprise, according to Chicago records. He has not responded to requests for comment.
Arroyo's decision to resign came just before a House committee was scheduled to begin an investigation, said state Rep. Fred Crespo, a member of the committee.
"When you run for office, you never think you're going to vote to expel a member from the House," said Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat.
"We have legislators run for office just because they like the title ... have a personal agenda. Most of the people I work with are good people who care about public policy and their districts."
Arroyo's arrest is part of a spiraling federal investigation that has included a raid on former Transportation Committee chairman and state Sen. Martin Sandoval's office along with the villages of Lyons, McCook and Summit.