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Longtime Illinois state senator from Vernon Hills charged with federal tax evasion

Undated photo of Illinois State Senator Terry Link.

Illinois State Senator Terry Link, who serves the Lake County area and was on the General Assembly’s ethics commission, has been charged by the feds with tax evasion.

Link, 73, of Vernon Hills, was charged in the U.S. Northern District Court of Illinois on Thursday.

A charging document alleges that Link reported $264,450 in income on his 2016 tax return to the IRS when his income “substantially exceeded” that amount.

Link was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and represents the 30th Legislative District, which covers parts of Waukegan, North Chicago, Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire and other towns.

Link was a member of the Legislative Ethics Commission but resigned on Thursday after being charged. He has also been the head of the Lake County Democratic Party since 1992.

Link and his lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment, several media outlets reported.

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The Chicago Tribune reported in 2019 that Link wore a wire for the FBI in a bribery investigation of his then colleague, Rep. Luis Arroyo. At the time, Link repeatedly denied being the senator who cooperated with the FBI.

The Daily Herald reported that State Senator Dan McConchie, a Hawthorn Woods Republican, called for Link to leave public service.

“Senator Link has broken the public trust,” McConchie said to the Daily Herald.

“He has repeatedly lied to the public about his being a subject of a federal investigation while continuing to vote on behalf of his constituents,” McConchie added.

A group of House and Senate Democrats in Illinois put forward nine measures on Thursday that they say are needed for ethics reform following several federal investigations and charges against Illinois politicians.


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