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Judge denies lawmaker request to delay trial

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:28 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO — A federal judge won't postpone an Illinois lawmaker's bribery trial so he can finish out the legislative session in Springfield.

Rep. Derrick Smith is a Chicago Democrat who's charged with accepting a $7,000 bribe. He is scheduled to go to trial May 28, but the Legislature isn't scheduled to adjourn until May 31.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman says Wednesday that says Smith's defense knew for months about the legislative session — and only objected now.

Smith had hoped to postpone the trial until June 2, arguing there were "significant" pieces of legislation to be voted on between May 28 and 31.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says Smith supports making Illinois' temporary income tax hike permanent, a measure that's still short of votes needed for approval.

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