Arredondo is the only person charged so far in the federal sting. The city of Tempe said it has no records of any of the councilmembers communicating with Longford Solutions before or after that meeting. And other than Arredondo, none appear to have accepted campaign donations from Longford Solutions. Still, prosecutors said in court filings last week that an investigation is still ongoing.
Williams Suspected Of Involvement In Another Federal Case
U.S. District Court Judge Frederick J. Martone last week ruled that federal prosecutors could keep information about Arredondo’s case from going public. The government argued it might impede ongoing investigations or “impair the privacy rights of third parties whose conduct is or was at one time under investigation.”
That evidence includes more than 10,000 pages of documents and about 50 hours of audio and video recordings. Much of it, federal prosecutors claimed, has little or no connection to the Arredondo case but they provided it out of “an abundance of caution.”
Williams political connections in the state — and the FBI’s admission that there are ongoing investigations connected to the Arredondo case — have left Arizona’s political class wondering what shoe will drop next.
A former staffer to Sen. John McCain, Williams has been working as a lobbyist for about 20 years. His current list of clients includes the Arizona Police Association, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, the United States Fireworks Safety Council, the Arizona Collectors Association and TASER International.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources close to Williams said Longford Solutions executives told the lobbyist they were interested in building relationships with Arizona’s political elites, a fact supported by their future interactions with members of Tempe’s city council. None of the real estate projects they spoke of seemed to go anywhere.
The sources said they believed Williams was working with the feds, but weren’t sure what had made him flip. The sources said rumors he was working with the feds began circulating in Tempe political circles earlier this year.
A lawyer for former Arizona state representative Richard Miranda, a Democrat who was recently sentenced to over two years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and attempted tax evasion, said he suspects Williams also played a role in the case against his client.
“There is no evidence that he did start the investigation into these two members of the Arizona legislature, but if you’re smart enough and put the pieces together, that’s what I believe the case started from,” Jose A. Montano, a lawyer for Miranda, told TPM.
An FBI spokesman declined to comment on their relationship with Williams.
Additional reporting by Nick Martin.