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Judge agrees to sealing evidence in Ben Arredondo corruption case

Rep. Ben Arredondo (File photo)

A federal judge today granted a Department of Justice request to seal portions of the evidence in Rep. Ben Arredondo’s political corruption case.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Anderson said in his written order that the public’s interest in the information is outweighed by the harm that would come if it was disclosed.

Anderson denied an initial request to seal all of the discovery, or evidence, in the case on the basis that the request was too broad.

The parties returned with a second request on May 31 specifying that information pertaining to informants, third parties named in other investigations who haven’t been charged and information such as addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth need to be protected.

Disclosing that information would harm reputations and pending investigations, which were described as “large scale,” the DOJ alleged. Arredondo’s attorneys also requested the sealing of information.

Anderson said the second request satisfied his requirements that the sealed information be more narrowly defined and showed there would be harm by disclosing it.

The Tempe Democrat was indicted May 16 on counts of bribery, mail fraud, extortion and false statements.

The indictment alleges Arredondo accepted tickets and seats to charitable events from FBI agents posing as real estate developers from February 2009 to November 2010.

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