“I’m sure if I was in his situation, the criminal process is foremost over your head,” said state Rep. Jil Tracy, R-Mount Sterling, a member of the six-person House Special Investigation Committee. ”If you sought the advice of counsel, they would tell (you) not to have any contact. It’s all part of the process,”
IL grand jury indicts Smith on federal bribery charge
By Jayette Bolinski and Stephanie Fryer | Illinois Statehouse News
SPRINGFIELD — Indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith is talking with fellow lawmakers through email alone, said a member of the House panel appointed to look into federal bribery allegations against Smith.
The panel, appointed to investigate allegations against Smith, last week postponed hearings originally scheduled this week.
“Just because he was indicted doesn’t mean we won’t have any disciplinary actions. He could still face removal from the office by recommendation of the committee,” she said.
A federal grand jury on April 10 indicted Smith, D-Chicago, on a bribery charge outlined in a criminal complaint filed March 12.
He is accused of accepting $7,000 cash in exchange for writing a letter of support for a day care center, which, he thought, was seeking a $50,000 Early Childhood Construction Grant through the state Capital Development Board. Federal authorities set up the fictional day care.
Tuesday’s indictment revealed no new information about the charges against Smith. Federal authorities began investigating Smith after getting a tip from a campaign worker.
Various lawmakers and state officials, including Gov. Pat Quinn, have called for Smith’s resignation.
Smith, meanwhile, can continue his normal duties as a member of the General Assembly, which reconvenes next week.
A married father of three and grandfather of six, Smith was appointed to the 10th District House seat in March 2011. He replaced Annazette Collins, who was appointed to the 5th District seat formerly held by state Sen. Rickey Hendon, who resigned in February 2011.
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