Former state Sen. Terry Link on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a federal count of filing a false tax return, marking the latest conviction in a series of wide-ranging investigations against Illinois political leaders.
Link, of Vernon Hills, was charged in August with failing to report income on his 2016 tax return to the IRS. Link listed his income as $264,450 when in fact his income “substantially exceeded” that amount, according to the charge. He resigned from office last week.
State records show Link, a Vernon Hills Democrat, was paid about $88,000 a year in legislative salary. He was also one of four state senators who serve on the Legislative Ethics Commission — a position he stepped down from after the criminal case was made public.
Link, 73, who served in the senate since 1997 and rose to assistant majority leader, entered his plea during a video conference before U.S. District Judge Robert Dow.
The Chicago Tribune reported last year that Link agreed to wear a wire for the FBI in a bribery investigation of his colleague, then-state Rep. Luis Arroyo, in exchange for what Link hopes will be leniency at sentencing.
Arroyo was charged with bribery last year and his case is pending.
Last year, Link’s colleague state Sen. Thomas Cullerton was charged in an alleged ghost payroll scheme involving the Teamsters union. Cullerton has pleaded not guilty.
In September, another then-state senator, Martin Sandoval, was accused of taking bribes from a representative of a red-light camera company to act as the company’s “protector” in Springfield. Sandoval pleaded guilty earlier this year and is cooperating.
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