State Sen. Terry Link resigns as Lake County Democratic chair following federal income tax evasion charge

Longtime state Sen. Terry Link, the Vernon Hills Democrat who was charged last week with a federal count of income tax evasion, is stepping down as chairman of the Lake County Democratic Party.

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Link announced his resignation, effective Sept. 15, in a Thursday email to fellow county party leaders.

Link has held the chairman position for 29 years, and said in his email he has been thinking about resigning his chairman post “for quite a while.”

“While some of you might assume my resignation is related to what you may have read in the news, those who truly know me and know my character and loyalty to the Democratic Party know there has to be more to the story,” Link wrote.

“I can assure you that there is a lot more to the story. Unfortunately, at this time I am unable to comment on any of this. I can only say that I respectfully request that you not be too quick to rush to judgement. Hopefully in time the entire true story will come out, and maybe everything will make sense and you will understand the truth.”

Link has not commented publicly since a criminal information was filed in U.S. District Court on Aug. 13 accusing Link of not reporting income on his 2016 tax return.

Defendants are typically charged via an information if they intend to eventually plead guilty.

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Link had served on the Legislative Ethics Commission, but resigned from that post shortly after the federal tax evasion charge became public.

The Tribune reported last year that Link wore a wire for the FBI as part of an investigation of former state Rep. Luis Arroyo, who prosecutors said had sought a state senator’s support on video gambling legislation that would have benefited one of his lobbying clients.

In the complaint against Arroyo, the state senator was not named, and was identified only as “Cooperating Witness 1.” The Tribune has reported that the unnamed senator was Link, which he repeatedly denied.

Lake County Democratic Party vice-chair Lauren Beth Gash will automatically take over as chair once Link’s resignation takes effect.

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