Rep. Smith attorney says House panel rushing case
CHICAGO – An attorney for state Rep. Derrick Smith cautioned an Illinois House committee Wednesday that it seemed to be rushing to judgment on bribery accusations against the Chicago Democrat before examining the evidence.
Smith was arrested in March in an FBI sting in which he's accused of accepting a $7,000 bribe in exchange for helping what he thought was a day care center obtain a state grant. He has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. Despite his arrest, Smith easily won his March primary battle and remains on the November ballot. Top Democrats have been calling on him to resign, but he has refused.
On Wednesday his attorney, Victor Henderson, told a House panel that any attempt to conclude their inquiry, which is separate from the federal criminal case, before the November election would undermine its fairness and raise questions about whether it is politically motivated.
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