Longtime Illinois state senator hit with federal tax charge

Sen. Terry Link

Longtime state Sen. Terry Link was charged in federal court Thursday with filing a false tax return, the latest Illinois lawmaker to face public corruption charges.

Link reported an income of $264,450 in 2016 when the “defendant knew that the total income substantially exceeded that amount,” according to the single-page charging document.

Often, those charged in these type of filings, called informations, go on to enter plea deals with prosecutors.

Link, 73, did not return messages seeking comment.

The Democrat, whose district covers suburbs north of Chicago, first took office in 1997 and eventually became assistant majority leader. He serves on the Legislative Ethics Commission and is chair of the Lake County Democratic Party. Over the years, he has often championed gambling legislation.

The charge comes after several other state lawmakers were charged as a result of the federal government’s ongoing criminal investigations into public corruption.

Among them was state Rep. Luis Arroyo, a Chicago Democrat, who pleaded not guilty to bribery allegations. He’s accused of paying a bribe to an unnamed state senator in exchange for support of a gambling bill that would have benefited a lobbying client.

In announcing the charge last October, federal prosecutors revealed that the unnamed state senator had been cooperating with them since 2016.

Link has previously denied to reporters that he was the unnamed state senator. The Chicago Sun-Times, citing anonymous sources, have identified Link as the unnamed senator.