CHICAGO – The Illinois House has enough evidence to punish state Rep. Derrick Smith in the wake of a federal indictment accusing him of accepting a $7,000 bribe, a special legislative committee that investigated the Chicago Democrat said in a report released Wednesday.
The committee’s task was only to determine whether Smith should be punished. Another committee will choose whether to reprimand, censure or expel Smith – or to take no action.
The seven-page report said the alleged misconduct legislators should examine is that Smith “abused the power of his office by participating in a scheme to obtain a personal benefit in exchange for his official acts.”
Smith, 48, allegedly took the bribe for backing a $50,000 state grant application on behalf of a day care center that turned out to be fictitious. Authorities say it was an FBI sting with an undercover informant wearing a recorder.
Smith has pleaded not guilty to accepting a bribe in exchange for using his influence to obtain a state grant. He has mostly avoided public comment on his legal trouble but told reporters in April that he planned to fight the charges.