Lawmaker Convicted Of Bribery

Derrick Smith

Derrick Smith

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal jury in Chicago has convicted Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith of bribery for taking $7,000 from a purported day care operator.

Jurors returned with their verdict Tuesday after deliberating about four hours over two days.

At trial, prosecutors played secret recordings of the 50-year-old Chicago Democrat allegedly accepting 70 $100 bills in exchange for a letter supporting a state grant. But it was all part of an FBI sting.

The recordings of Smith were made by a campaign worker-turned-informant.

After Smith’s arrest, the House voted to expel him. But he was reinstated after his late-2012 election win. He lost his 2014 primary and was supposed to finish his term. However, a conviction means he will lose his seat.

Steve Brown is spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan. He  says Democratic committeemen from Smith’s district will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)