News Local/State

Illinois Lawmaker Charged With Bribery Resigns

State Rep. Luis Arroyo

From 2014: Rep. Luis Arroyo presents budget legislation on the floor of the Illinois House. Arroyo resigned his House seat Friday, following his arrest on federal bribery charges. Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

State Representative Luis Arroyo has resigned, one week after his arrest on federal bribery charges.

Arroyo submitted his resignation Friday after 13 years in the House. The Chicago Democrat stepped down just hours before a special investigating committee was scheduled to begin considering his expulsion.

Prosecutors claim the 65-year-old Arroyo offered a $2,500 monthly bribe to a state senator for the senator's support on legislation legalizing slot-like "sweepstakes" games.

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan said in a statement Friday that the charge is "beyond extraordinary."

“Representative Arroyo’s 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,” said Madigan, who had previously called for Arroyo’s resignation.

He says legislative leaders should continue a promised effort to tighten ethics laws even though the special investigative committee won't proceed.

Arroyo was first appointed to the Illinois House in December, 2006. He chaired that chamber’s Appropriations-Capitol Committee. With Arroyo’s departure, vice-chairman Lawrence Walsh Jr. (D-Joliet) is that committee’s highest officer.

A House Republican statement from Rep. Tom Demmer of Dixon said the Arroyo allegation has shaken public trust.