Quinn on Derrick Smith: 'We'll let that go by for now'

November 7, 2012

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Some Illinois officials are reacting to Derrick Smith’s Election Day victory. Derrick Smith used to be the state representative for Chicago’s West Side until he was arrested for taking a bribe in exchange for office services.

He’s pleaded not guilty, but that didn’t stop legislators from kicking him out of his seat in August. It also didn’t stop voters from electing him back to his old seat Tuesday when he beat opponent Lance Tyson, who had the support of several Democratic leaders.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, a friend of Smith’s, said Wednesday morning that Smith won for a few reasons.

For one, he said Tyson was picked by party leaders to run and not the voters of the district.

Davis also said Smith's constituents believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

"We condemn people rather quickly once they are alleged to have done something," he said. "Many people just simply felt once Derrick goes through a court of law, once a judge and some jurors make a determination, then his fate is determined."

When asked on Wednesday if the House should kick Smith out once again, Gov. Pat Quinn said, “We’ll let that go by for now.”

The House is not allowed to oust a representative twice for the same reason.