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Openings start in legislator's bribery trial

Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:05 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO — Opening statements have begun at the bribery trial of an Illinois lawmaker accused of accepting a $7,000 payout from a day care operator who was seeking a state grant.

A prosecutor told jurors Thursday that the FBI has a secretly recorded conversation of Rep. Derrick Smith seeking the brie.

The 50-year-old has pleaded not guilty to extortion and bribery, which alone carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Government filings say the Chicago Democrat spoke at length to FBI agents after his 2012 arrest. They describe him as distraught, cursing as he told investigators he'd taken the bribe.

Defense attorney Victor Henderson says the FBI's main source isn't credible.

The trial at federal court in Chicago is expected to take a week.

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