WBEZ | Derrick Smith http://www.wbez.org/tags/derrick-smith Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois Rep. Derrick Smith convicted of bribery http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-rep-derrick-smith-convicted-bribery-110313 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP362609502394.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A federal jury in Chicago on Tuesday convicted Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith of bribery for taking $7,000 from a purported day care operator seeking a state grant.</p><p>In a weeklong trial, prosecutors played secret recordings of the 50-year-old Chicago Democrat accepting 70 $100 bills in exchange for a letter supporting the $50,000 state grant &mdash; though it was all part of an FBI sting.</p><p>Jurors returned their verdict after deliberating about four hours over two days. Smith showed no emotion as he learned his fate, sitting with his hands folded. A family member patted him on the shoulder minutes later.</p><p>Outside court, a subdued Smith told reporters: &quot;We gave it a good fight. God knows the truth. Jurors didn&#39;t see what God saw.&quot;</p><p>No sentencing date was set, but a status hearing was set for Sept. 23. Smith was released pending a sentencing date.</p><p>The recordings of Smith by a campaign worker-turned-informant included one where Smith uses slang talking about the handover of the bribe, asking, &quot;How she going to get the cheddar to us?&quot; In another he says, &quot;I don&#39;t want no trace of it.&quot;</p><p>Prosecutors also described how a distraught Smith admitted after his March 13, 2012, arrest he took the bribe. He even brought agents to his bedroom, retrieved $2,500 in leftover bribe cash from the foot of his bed and handed it over.</p><p>Shortly after Smith&#39;s arrest, his House colleagues voted 100-6 to expel him. But he was reinstated after winning his late-2012 election. He lost his 2014 primary and was supposed to finish out his current term. However, a felony conviction means he will lose his seat.</p><p>Jurors found Smith guilty on all charges &mdash; one count of bribery and one of attempted extortion. Combined, the convictions carry a maximum 30-year prison sentence.</p><p>At trial, the defense attacked the credibility of the informant, who was only referred to by his first name, Pete, in court. They described him as a deadbeat and convicted felon who &quot;set up&quot; Smith for $1,000-a-week payments from the FBI.</p><p>&quot;He&#39;s a hustler,&quot; defense attorney Victor Henderson told jurors during closing arguments Monday. &quot;He hustled the representative and he hustled the FBI.&quot;</p><p>The attorney argued that Pete hoodwinked a devoted public servant together with an overzealous FBI.</p><p>&quot;He wasn&#39;t going to commit a crime,&quot; Henderson said, pointing to Smith. &quot;That was something they fabricated.&quot;</p><p>But prosecutor Marsha McClellan said in her closing that the recordings and other evidence demonstrated that no one led Smith astray against his will.</p><p>&quot;There sits a defendant whose public face is one of service, but who privately wanted to use that office ... to get cash into his pockets,&quot; she said.</p><p>In a recording from early March 2012, Pete counts aloud as he hands the cash to Smith in seven $1,000 stacks. As the informant counts the fifth stack, he curses as the money sticks together. He pauses, then counts the rest.</p><p>Pete then jokingly chides Smith for not expressing gratitude, saying, &quot;(You) didn&#39;t even say thank you.&quot;</p><p>The prosecutor said that Smith&#39;s easy, confident tone on the recordings illustrated he didn&#39;t think he&#39;d ever get caught.</p><p>&quot;Never in a million years did he expect us to listen to him now,&quot; McClellan told jurors. &quot;He never thought this day would come.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-rep-derrick-smith-convicted-bribery-110313 Attorneys debate use of 'pimping' in bribery trial of Illinois lawmaker http://www.wbez.org/news/attorneys-debate-use-pimping-bribery-trial-illinois-lawmaker-109404 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/derrick smith (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As they prepare for the trial of an Illinois state representative accused of taking a bribe, attorneys are debating the use of the politician&rsquo;s racy language as evidence.</p><p>Federal prosecutors say they have Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, on tape asking for $7,000 in cash in exchange for backing a grant application. Smith&rsquo;s defense attorneys say Smith was entrapped by the campaign worker who recorded him.</p><p>The representative&rsquo;s trial is scheduled to begin next month. Attorneys were in court Wednesday to go over some details about the case.</p><p>In one instance, Smith&rsquo;s attorneys want to ban from the trial a recording in which they say Smith used the word &ldquo;pimping&rdquo; when describing his job duties in the legislature. They say the comment is unrelated to the charges.</p><p>Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said the word can have various meanings. Prosecutors jokingly said it can even refer to something good, such as on the MTV show &ldquo;Pimp My Ride.&rdquo;</p><p>The judge is expected to rule on that and other legal issues by the end of the week.</p><p>Smith was expelled from the state House of Representatives by his fellow lawmakers in August 2012, after his bribery indictment. But voters in his district on Chicago&rsquo;s West and Near North Sides voted him back into office that November.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 15:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/attorneys-debate-use-pimping-bribery-trial-illinois-lawmaker-109404 Judge denies Derrick Smith's request for hearing into key witness http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/judge-denies-derrick-smiths-request-hearing-key-witness-105545 <p><p>A federal judge in Chicago has put the brakes on attempts to investigate whether federal agents lied about a key witness in the case against an Illinois lawmaker.</p><p>Prosecutors allege they caught State Rep. Derrick Smith, a Chicago Democrat, on tape accepting a $7,000 bribe.&nbsp;Smith&rsquo;s attorneys say FBI agents didn&rsquo;t disclose the 20 prior arrests of the person who secretly recorded Smith. Victor Henderson, Smith&#39;s attorney, has said he wants the 27 secret recordings thrown out before the trial. He&#39;s argued in court filings that separating the source&#39;s background from the tapes gathered against Smith is no easier than separating the yolk from an egg.</p><p>&quot;It makes a big difference when you&#39;re starting a case out whether you have a nun or a Sister Bertrille who&#39;s at the center of it, or a confidential informant who&#39;s got a criminal history that&#39;s 40 pages long,&quot; Henderson said leading up to the judge&#39;s decision on Thursday.</p><p>But Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled Thursday there&rsquo;s enough evidence to continue the case against Smith, even if the source&#39;s credibility is an issue.</p><p>&quot;The source&#39;s credibility plays no role in establishing that the words were spoken,&quot; she wrote in her decision, referring to the alleged secret recordings of Smith.</p><p>Smith&rsquo;s trial is scheduled to start in October.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 17:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/judge-denies-derrick-smiths-request-hearing-key-witness-105545 Credibility of key witness against State Rep. Derrick Smith is questioned http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/credibility-key-witness-against-state-rep-derrick-smith-questioned-105443 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/derrick smith.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The bribery case of an Illinois lawmaker may take a rare step this week. Attorneys are scheduled to debate whether federal authorities lied about the background of a key witness who secretly recorded Illinois State Rep. Derrick Smith.</p><p>Prosecutors allege they have Smith on tape saying he wants a $7,000 bribe in cash so there would be no trace of the money. Much of the prosecutors&rsquo; initial complaint relies on secretly recorded conversations Smith had with an unnamed source.</p><p>Now, that anonymous source has become the subject of scrutiny.</p><p>Victor Henderson, Smith&rsquo;s defense attorney, said federal authorities didn&rsquo;t disclose the criminal history of that source. Early on in the case, federal investigators said the source had one prior arrest and had been paid $1,200 by the FBI for work in other cases.</p><p>But both prosecutors and the defense now say that was wrong. The source actually had 20 prior arrests and had been paid $2,100 by the FBI.</p><p>&ldquo;It makes a big difference when you&rsquo;re starting a case out whether you have a nun or a Sister Bertrille who&rsquo;s at the center of it, or a confidential informant who&rsquo;s got a criminal history that&rsquo;s 40 pages long,&rdquo; Henderson said.</p><p>Henderson is calling for the anonymous source and federal agents to testify in a hearing into whether the evidence could be used in Smith&rsquo;s trial, which is scheduled to begin in October.</p><p>Meantime, prosecutors argue in court documents the hearing isn&rsquo;t necessary because the witness&rsquo;s background doesn&rsquo;t change what Smith said on tape.</p><p>Since the charges were brought against Smith, his fellow members of the House of Representatives voted to kick him out of office. But voters in Smith&rsquo;s district on Chicago&rsquo;s west and northwest side voted him back into his old seat in November after a contentious election. At one point during the campaign, the politically powerful Secretary of State Jesse White, who had once supported Smith, told a crowd of ministers that Smith was no longer welcome on the West Side of Chicago.</p><p>&quot;Someone told me that when you take money, make sure you take enough so you can afford a lawyer,&quot; White said, mocking the $7,000 Smith is accused of illegally accepting.</p><p>Shortly after Smith won election, Henderson held a news conference in which he told reporters Smith would be an independent voice in Springfield who would stand up to the legislators who expelled him from public office.</p><p>&ldquo;There were a lot of ministers who didn&rsquo;t want Martin Luther King up here in the &#39;60s because he said he was causing problems. Look what good he did. People wanted Nelson Mandela to be quiet. People wanted Jesus to be quiet,&rdquo; Henderson said in November.</p><p>Lawmakers in Springfield have abandoned attempts to kick Smith out of office again since the state constitution forbids a legislator from being expelled twice for the same reason. Republican State Rep. Jim Durkin, who helped expel Smith last year, has said Smith will have a hard time doing his job since so many House found him unfit to hold public office once before.</p><p>&quot;He will have a very difficult time legislating and, quite frankly, I think that members of the legislature are going to be suspicious of him and some of them will be just downright offended that they&rsquo;re serving with him,&quot; Durkin said.</p></p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/credibility-key-witness-against-state-rep-derrick-smith-questioned-105443 Judge wants hearing into main witness in bribery case against Illinois lawmaker http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-wants-hearing-main-witness-bribery-case-against-illinois-lawmaker-105223 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77158061" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Defense attorneys for an Illinois state representative facing bribery charges scored a victory Wednesday in their attacks against the credibility of the prosecutors&rsquo; main witness.</p><p>While State Rep. Derrick Smith was in Springfield for a House session, his attorney, Victor Henderson, was winning an argument in front of a federal judge in Chicago.</p><p>Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled she would hold a rare hearing into whether law enforcement knowingly gave false information about a main witness in the Derrick Smith case.</p><p>Prosecutors say the source, whose name has not been made public, secretly recorded Smith in 27 conversations, including one in which the Chicago Democrat allegedly asked for a $7,000 cash bribe. Prosecutors say Smith is heard on tape saying he wants the money in cash because, he allegedly said, &quot;I don&#39;t want no trace of it.&quot; In exchange for the money, prosecutors say Smith wrote a letter of recommendation for a grant application.</p><p>Early on in the case, federal investigators said the source who secretly recorded Smith had one prior arrest for domestic assault. Investigators also said the source had been paid $1,200 by the FBI for work in other investigations.&nbsp;</p><p>But Smith&rsquo;s defense attorneys call that witness a con man who has actually been arrested 20 times.</p><p>Prosecutors concur the source has been arrested for a range of offenses, including burglary, theft, drug offenses and weapons offenses. They say the witness has been convicted twice: once for a 2004 drug conviction and once in 1978 for burglary. The source was sentenced to probation for both offenses.</p><p>Smith&rsquo;s attorneys also say the witness has not been paid $1,200 by the FBI, but $2,100.</p><p>The hearing scheduled for next month will look into what investigators knew about the witness, and that could impact the evidence allowed at trial.</p><p>Smith&rsquo;s attorney would not comment after the judge&rsquo;s decision on Wednesday.</p><p>Smith was first appointed to represent parts of Chicago&rsquo;s West and North Sides in Springfield in 2011. His fellow House of Representatives members kicked him out of his seat last year after he was arrested. But Smith won back his House seat in November&rsquo;s election, even though several high-ranking Illinois politicians supported his third party opponent.</p><p>Some of the same representatives who voted to kick Smith out of the House have said he will have a hard time representing his district with the criminal charges hanging over his head. They have said Illinois&rsquo; constitution forbids legislators from being kicked out of the House twice for the same offense.</p><p>Smith&rsquo;s trial is scheduled to start in October.</p></p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 14:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-wants-hearing-main-witness-bribery-case-against-illinois-lawmaker-105223 Illinois lawmakers predict tough road ahead for indicted state representative Derrick Smith http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmakers-predict-tough-road-ahead-indicted-state-representative-derrick-smith-104810 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS5838_AP120510048131-scr_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois state lawmakers were sworn in Wednesday.&nbsp;Among them is a state representative who faces a trial later this year for allegedly taking a bribe.</p><p>Derrick Smith has had <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/derrick-smiths-attorney-compares-him-jesus-thinks-feds-might-be-targeting-jesse-white-103749" target="_blank">quite a journey</a> to end up back where he started.&nbsp;The Chicago Democrat was arrested last year for allegedly taking a $7,000 bribe in exchange for office services.&nbsp;</p><p>After his arrest, Smith&rsquo;s fellow House of Representatives kicked him out of office.&nbsp;And despite all that, he was elected to his old seat in November&rsquo;s election.</p><p>Republican State Rep. Jim Durkin called it surreal that he took the same oath of office as the indicted Smith today.</p><p>&quot;He will have a very difficult time legislating and, quite frankly, I think that members of the legislature are going to be suspicious of him and some of them will be just downright offended that they&rsquo;re serving with him,&quot; Durkin said.</p><p>Durkin said lawmakers can&rsquo;t oust a sitting state representative twice for the same reason. He said he would not try to kick Smith out of office again unless the U.S. Attorney&#39;s office files a superceding indictment to Smith&#39;s pending charges.</p><p>&quot;How he interacts with us will be important because, again, recognizing that he does have a constituency to represent, it&#39;ll be entirely up to him to proceed in a manner where he can continue to be a representative for his district,&quot; said State Rep. Will Davis, a Democrat.</p><p>Approached before the inauguration, Smith refused to answer questions about how he expects to work with lawmakers. He also wouldn&#39;t answer questions about his legislative priorities.</p><p>Two other state legislators sworn in Wednesday, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/donne-trotter-drops-out-congressional-race-104611" target="_blank">State Sen. Donne Trotter</a> and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/representative-lashawn-ford-pleads-not-guilty-bank-fraud-104310" target="_blank">State Rep. LaShawn Ford</a>, also face criminal charges. But those charges do not pertain to their official office duties.</p></p> Wed, 09 Jan 2013 14:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmakers-predict-tough-road-ahead-indicted-state-representative-derrick-smith-104810 Lawmakers shy away from calling for Rep. Ford to resign http://www.wbez.org/news/lawmakers-shy-away-calling-rep-ford-resign-104141 <p><p>Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Illinois are holding off on calling for the resignation of indicted State Rep. LaShawn Ford.</p><p>Federal prosecutors indicted Ford for bank fraud <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/state-rep-lashawn-ford-indicted-bank-fraud-charges-104118">Thursday</a>, accusing the Chicago Democrat of lying about how he would use a line of credit.</p><p>In their indictment, federal prosecutors said the 40-year-old politician took a $500,000 line of credit with the now-failed ShoreBank to purchase and rehab some properties, but instead used the money to pay off expenses from his 2006 campaign.</p><p>Ford allegedly used the money for payments to a casino in Hammond, Ind., credit cards, car loans and mortgages he held at the bank. Prosecutors also allege Ford falsely inflated his personal income in obtaining the line of credit.</p><p>Ford is the second state representative to face federal charges this year.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/derrick-smiths-attorney-compares-him-jesus-thinks-feds-might-be-targeting-jesse-white-103749">Derrick Smith</a>, who maintains his innocence, was arrested earlier for allegedly taking a bribe and kicked out of the House.</p><p>&quot;I see them as two very, very different issues,&quot; said Republican State Rep.&nbsp;Jim Sacia, who helped lead the charge to oust Smith because the alleged bribe had to do with his official duties as a representative.</p><p>But Sacia said Ford&rsquo;s accusations do not involve his official office responsibilities, so he&rsquo;s not calling for his resignation.</p><p>House Republican Leader Tom Cross made the same distinction between the separate charges facing Ford and Smith.</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s just too early at this point to make a recommendation on House action based on information in the indictment and public statements from the U.S. Attorney&rsquo;s office,&rdquo; Cross said in a statement.</p><p>Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn also wouldn&rsquo;t say whether Ford should resign.</p><p>&quot;That&rsquo;s up to him,&quot; Quinn said. &quot;He has to follow his conscience.&quot;</p><p>Ford said Thursday evening that he&rsquo;s innocent.</p><p>In a statement sent to constituents, Ford said&nbsp;he&rsquo;s introducing a resolution asking his colleagues to remain neutral and allow him to continue representing Chicago&rsquo;s West Side in Springfield.</p></p> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 14:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawmakers-shy-away-calling-rep-ford-resign-104141 'Morning Shift' #45: Lame duck legislature http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2012-11-09/morning-shift-45-lame-duck-legislature-103771 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Pic1.jpg" alt="" /><p><script src="http://storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-45.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-45" target="_blank">View the story "'Morning Shift' #45: Lame duck legislature " on Storify</a>]<h1>'Morning Shift' #45: Lame duck legislature </h1><h2>On Friday's Morning Shift, we look at the week in review. We also talk to Derrick Smith about his re-election, look at what's ahead for marriage rights in light of Wednesday's election results across the country, and talk to WBEZ's statehouse reporter Tony Arnold about this year's lame ducks. </h2><p>Storified by &middot; Fri, Nov 09 2012 07:11:39</p><div>State<b>&nbsp;</b>Representative&nbsp;Derrick Smith of Illinois’ 10th District was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/derrick-smiths-attorney-compares-him-jesus-thinks-feds-might-be-targeting-jesse-white-103749" class="">expelled from office</a> earlier this year when he was arrested for allegedly taking a $7,000 bribe. He won back the seat in Tuesday’s election. Smith joins us to talk about what his plans are for the future.</div><div>Same-sex marriage was on the ballot Tuesday in four states. Maryland, Maine and Washington voted to extend marriage rights to gay couples, while Minnesota shot down a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman. We talk with one of Illinois’ leading voices on marriage equality, state Representative Greg Harris of Illinois’ 13th District to learn what’s ahead for marriage rights in Illinois.</div><div>Out Front RallyGovernorDayton</div><div>After elections, it’s not uncommon to see a flurry of activity in Springfield, as legislators who lost their reelection bids or are retiring feel emboldened to take on issues that might divide their constituents. Tony Arnold, who covers the statehouse for WBEZ, looks at what this year’s lame ducks might do before they leave office, and David Morrison, the deputy director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, looks at how lame-duck sessions affect the legislative process. &nbsp;<br></div><div>Finally, Alexandra Salomon, producer anddirector of WBEZ’s <i>Worldview</i>,and Ted Fishman, author of the books <i>China Inc. </i>and<i>Shock of Gray</i>,<i></i>review the week in news, including stories you might have missed in the wake of the presidential elections.</div></noscript></p> Fri, 09 Nov 2012 09:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2012-11-09/morning-shift-45-lame-duck-legislature-103771 Derrick Smith's attorney compares him to Jesus, thinks feds might be targeting Jesse White http://www.wbez.org/news/derrick-smiths-attorney-compares-him-jesus-thinks-feds-might-be-targeting-jesse-white-103749 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/smith henderson_121108.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Derrick Smith, a former Illinois state representative who was indicted, kicked out of his seat yet won it back in this week&rsquo;s election, gave some justifications for why he won. On Thursday Smith and his attorneys held an energetic news conference that at times verged on theater at their office in downtown Chicago.</p><p>Smith said he won the 10<sup>th</sup> State House seat back because he has a close relationship with the constituents. Smith criticized the idea that he only won because he was labeled as the Democrat on the ballot, despite the fact that he often reminded voters that he was the Democrat in the race in&nbsp;campaign literature and in media interviews.</p><p>The 10<sup>th</sup> State House district covers parts of Chicago&rsquo;s West Side, Wicker Park and Lincoln Park.</p><p>One of Smith&rsquo;s attorneys, Sam Adam, Jr., said 10<sup>th</sup> District voters knew what they were voting for when they cast their ballots.</p><p>&ldquo;They voted for him because of the presumption of evidence &ndash; I mean, the presumption of innocence and they know that he was going to represent them to the best of his ability,&rdquo; Adam said.</p><p>Smith has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges that he allegedly accepted a $7,000 bribe in exchange for writing a letter of recommendation for a nursery&rsquo;s grant application. Federal prosecutors say Smith was secretly recorded saying that he wanted the $7,000 in cash because, &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want no trace of it.&rdquo;</p><p>When a reporter asked Smith at Thursday&rsquo;s news conference whether he took the money, Smith&rsquo;s attorney, Victor Henderson, intervened and said, &ldquo;He&rsquo;s not answering under our advice. When we get there, the whole story will come out and it&rsquo;ll be quite a story.&rdquo;</p><p>Henderson went on to say that Smith was duped by a con man.</p><p>&ldquo;A con man with a horrific record. A con man who has been convicted of lying by deception, that&rsquo;s what the government&rsquo;s case is built around,&rdquo; Henderson said.</p><p>Henderson also alluded that Smith may not be the target of the federal prosecutors&rsquo; investigation, saying they may be targeting Secretary of State Jesse White, a onetime proponent of Smith&rsquo;s.</p><p>&ldquo;Twelve months ago, 14 months ago, 18 months ago, Derrick Smith wasn&rsquo;t on anybody&rsquo;s radar screen. So, maybe the case isn&rsquo;t really about Derrick Smith,&rdquo; Henderson said.</p><p>Dave Drucker, a spokesman for White, said those claims are baseless and that Henderson should focus on his own client.</p><p>After Smith was arrested in March, Democratic leaders on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side encouraged the constituents in his district to vote for Smith because they said his opponent was a Republican trying to run as a Democrat in the heavily Democratic district. After Smith won, officials expected him to resign his seat. When Smith refused to step down, the House of Representatives voted to kick him out of his seat, the first time that had happened in Springfield in more than 100 years.</p><p>The Illinois constitution does not allow members of the General Assembly to forcibly remove a legislator twice for the same reason.&nbsp;When asked at a news conference Wednesday whether the House should try to kick Smith out again, Gov. Pat Quinn said, &ldquo;We&rsquo;ll let that go by for now.&rdquo;</p><p>State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, the Democrat who chaired the special House committee investigating Smith that eventually recommended Smith be ousted, said Thursday, &ldquo;I have no idea what time the, when the timetable for a federal trial. I can only tell you that our hands are tied unless Mr. Smith were to commit some other egregious act that would result in triggering the same set of circumstances that led to the ouster in August.&rdquo;</p><p>In Smith&rsquo;s limited appearance at Thursday&rsquo;s news conference, he said he&rsquo;s ready to get to work in Springfield.</p><p>&ldquo;I am going to let bygones be bygones,&rdquo; Smith said of working with the 100 House members who voted to kick him out. &ldquo;And the people of the district, they need good jobs. They need new schools. They need good housing and they intend &ndash; I intend to devote every minute of my time to make sure that I represent them to the best of my ability.&rdquo;</p><p>Meantime, Henderson framed Smith as a trailblazer in Springfield, and an independent voice standing up to all the legislators who have worked against him.</p><p>&ldquo;There were a lot of ministers who didn&rsquo;t want Martin Luther King up here in the &#39;60s because he said he was causing problems. Look what good he did. People wanted Nelson Mandela to be quiet. People wanted Jesus to be quiet,&rdquo; Henderson said.</p></p> Thu, 08 Nov 2012 10:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/derrick-smiths-attorney-compares-him-jesus-thinks-feds-might-be-targeting-jesse-white-103749 Quinn on Derrick Smith: 'We'll let that go by for now' http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/quinn-derrick-smith-well-let-go-now-103733 <p><p>Some Illinois officials are reacting to Derrick Smith&rsquo;s Election Day victory.&nbsp;Derrick Smith used to be the state representative for Chicago&rsquo;s West Side until he was arrested for taking a bribe in exchange for office services.</p><p>He&rsquo;s pleaded not guilty, but that didn&rsquo;t stop legislators from kicking him out of his seat in August.&nbsp;It also didn&rsquo;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.</p><p>U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, a friend of Smith&rsquo;s, said Wednesday morning that Smith won for a few reasons.</p><p>For one, he said Tyson was picked by party leaders to run and not the voters of the district.</p><p>Davis also said Smith&#39;s constituents believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty.</p><p>&quot;We condemn people rather quickly once they are alleged to have done something,&quot; he said. &quot;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.&quot;<br /><br />When asked on Wednesday if the House should kick Smith out once again, Gov. Pat Quinn said, &ldquo;We&rsquo;ll let that go by for now.&rdquo;</p><p>The House is not allowed to oust a representative twice for the same reason.</p></p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 15:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/quinn-derrick-smith-well-let-go-now-103733