Lawmaker Bribery Trial Continues With Opening Statements

Derrick Smith

Derrick Smith

CHICAGO (AP) — Opening statements are expected in the federal bribery trial of an Illinois lawmaker accused of accepting a $7,000 bribe from a day care center seeking a state grant.

Initial statements to jurors Thursday come a day after 12 were selected to hear state Rep. Derrick Smith’s case.

Prosecutors are expected to say Smith confessed immediately after his 2012 arrest. Court filings describe him as distraught, cursing and telling investigators he’d taken the bribe.

Smith allegedly sought the bribe because he feared his campaign workers would abandon him unless he raised money to pay them.

It was allegedly a campaign worker cooperating with investigators who suggested Smith could raise cash by taking the bribe. Smith’s lawyers are expected to make the credibility of the campaign worker a focus of their defense.

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