Arraignment today for Derrick Smith
Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith will plead not guilty Monday to a federal bribery charge, according to an attorney for the Chicago Democrat.
Prosecutors allege that Smith took a $7,000 bribe in exchange for writing a letter of support for a day care center he believed was looking for a state grant. What Smith didn't know was the feds set it up.
Vic Henderson is Smith's attorney, and he's strongly hinting he'll argue the government entrapped his client.
"The government's own information that is publicly available indicates that they manufactured documents, created - I think - fictitious website venues and things of that nature," Henderson said in an interview last week.
Separate from the criminal proceedings, an Illinois House special investigating committee is looking into the allegations, a process that could end in Smith's expulsion.
"He's going to continue to serve as he was elected to do, and we're going to defend him and business will go on as usual," Henderson said.
Smith has yet to appear at meetings of the investigating committee.
But he will have to show up at Monday's federal court hearing in Chicago to enter his plea of not guilty.