Ex-Illinois Pol Admits Wearing Wire in Gambling Bribery Scandal
An ex-Illinois state senator has confessed that he secretly recorded a Democratic Party colleague in an effort to get them to confess to bribery.
(Image: Chicago Sun-Times).
After pleading guilty to tax evasion in 2020 and awaiting sentencing, veteran lawmaker Terry Link was finally forced to admit his role in State Rep Luis Arroyo’s conviction. Link had denied reports that he had cooperated with the FBI and provided undercover evidence that led to Arroyo’s five-year prison sentence for taking kickbacks from the sweepstakes industry. His admission came as he testified in the bribery trial of sweepstakes operator James Weiss. “This is the Jackpot”, Link said, confirming his status as the whistleblower who exposed Arroyo’s corruption. (Image: Chicago Sun-Times).
‘This is the Jackpot’
Prosecutors have accused Weiss of offering Arroyo bribes worth $7,500 through his lobbying firm, Spartacus 3. In exchange, Weiss sought Arroyo’s assistance in legalizing sweepstakes machines, which are in an uncertain legal status in Illinois. When Arroyo invited Link to the scheme, Link was heard on the recorded dialogue asking, “What’s in it for me?”, to which Arroyo responded, “I’m going to give you this here. This is … this is the jackpot,” as he presented his colleague with a check for $2,500, eventually guaranteeing monthly payments if Link supported the codification of sweepstakes machines. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island) and Tony Muñoz (D-Chicago) provided insight this week about Arroyo’s unexpected interest in sweepstakes machines in 2018. Weiss has denied the bribery claims.
Weiss Denies Bribery
Rita and Muñoz worked diligently to pass sweeping gambling reforms that would be ratified the following year in Illinois. According to WTTW News, Rita had commented, “He continuously pushed for the reforms up until I did not wish to converse with him any longer”. Link proved to be a strong presence in the state Senate, and his efforts were credited with ensuring the reforms moved forward; possibly the reason why Arroyo and Weiss had chosen to attempt bribe Link. However, Businessman Weiss denies any accusations of bribery, alleging that he had paid a valid consulting fee to Arroyo in order to stop a proposal at Chicago City Hall that would have prohibited sweepstakes machines. Additionally, Weiss claims he was unaware of any bribes related to Link.
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