News

Rep. Smith Guilty of Bribery, Extortion

Rep. Smith Guilty of Bribery, Extortion

Photo: Associated Press/Seth Perlman

A state lawmaker has been found guilty of accepting bribes.

Jurors only needed four hours of deliberations to agree that State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) was guilty of asking a day care business for $7,000 in return for a letter supporting their application for state grants.

Smith believes he had been unfairly targeted by an informant for the FBI because he’s a public official.

“That’s what I was doing – serving the people – and I don’t know why I was singled out,” Smith said.

First assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro says the sting operation wasn’t overkill.

“Derrick Smith is an Illinois state representative,” Shapiro said. “He’s an elected public official who votes on very important things for this state, which has a somewhat mixed record of political service.”

Shapiro says the U.S. attorney’s office will continue going after corrupt politicians, though he added he’s not sure politicians are heeding that warning.

By state law, Smith’s convictions will automatically remove him from the legislature. He was tossed out of the House after being indicted in 2012, but won election later that year. He would have been out of office after this year anyway, as he lost in the Democratic primary in March.

Smith now faces up to 20 years in prison. He’s set to be sentenced later this year.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Man, Boy, Dog Hit and Killed in Bloomington

Fresh
police_lights

Poor lighting could be a factor

in Local

Free Trade Proposal Brings Disagreement

Fresh
roskam

$8B for Illinois, says congressman

in Local

Benedictine Goes Adults Only

local_news_generic

Growth in older population, reduction in traditional college-age cited

in Local

State Lawmaker: IDOT Not the Only Agency Whose Hiring Process May be Suspect

idot

Federal monitor to check agency on hiring practices