Former state Rep. Luis Arroyo pleads guilty to federal bribery charge

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Former Illinois state Rep. Luis Arroyo returned to court Wednesday to plead guilty in a federal bribery case.

Prosecutors said the Democratic lawmaker paid a bribe to a state senator in exchange for support of a gambling bill that would have benefited one of Arroyo's clients.

Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.

Arroyo allegedly offered to pay $2,500 per month to the senator in return for the senator's support of sweepstakes-related legislation.

Prosecutors said Arroyo provided the senator with a check as an initial payment, with the expectation that additional payments would be made for the next six to 12 months. The senator was wearing a wire for the FBI during the transaction.

In October 2020, James Weiss, husband to former state Rep. Toni Berrios and son-in-law of one-time Cook County Democratic boss Joseph Berrios, was charged with his role in the scheme.

Weiss allegedly paid bribes to Arroyo beginning in November 2018 in exchange for Arroyo's promotion of legislation that would benefit Weiss. Weiss also allegedly conspired with Arroyo in the sweepstakes legislation bribery plot.

RELATED: Cook County Democratic Party names replacement for former Illinois Rep. Luis Arroyo

Arroyo resigned from his legislative role Nov. 1, and the Cook County Democratic Party chose Eva-Dina Delgado as his replacement.

The former state representative had initially pleaded not guilty during his arraignment hearing in Feb. 2020.
Arroyo is from Chicago's West Side and had served in the legislature since 2006 prior to his resignation, representing the 3rd House District. He was chairman of a House appropriations committee and was on the public utilities committee and transportation committee.

Arroyo was reelected to four terms as an Illinois state representative and was elected the General Assembly's assistant majority leader in 2017.

Arroyo was the 4th elected official charged in 2019 in the feds' ongoing political corruption investigation.

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Guilty pleas in political corruption cases usually mean the defendant will cooperate with the feds in other cases.

Arroyo could face up to 20 years in prison. His sentencing is set for February 18, 2022.
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