Friday, July 20, 2012
Committee Recommends Expelling Rep. From House
A disciplinary committee unanimously recommended Thursday that Chicago Democratic Rep. Derrick Smith be booted from his seat in the Illinois House. Smith stands accused of accepting a bribe for providing helping a day care in seeking a state grant. Smith faces a criminal trial, but first, he will likely face a vote to kick him out of the House. The committee voted unanimously to find Smith “at fault.”
Smith’s lawyer, Victor Henderson, had argued that it was unfair to remove a sitting legislator based on accusations that have not yet been confirmed. “What’s the rush? There shouldn’t be a rush? We haven’t heard any explanation about why this process has to go as fast as it is,” Henderson complained.
But Skokie Democratic Rep. Lou Lang, who argued against Henderson before the committee, said lawmakers were not convicting Smith but simply deciding whether he is fit to serve. “We have a duty to the institution we were all elected to,” he said.
Chicago Democratic Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, head of the commitee, said, "Not one of us takes any joy in sitting in judgment of our colleagues.” She told reporters that the House would likely vote on Smith’s fate before the November elections, saying there was no reason to “drag this out.”
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/committee-recommends-expelling-smith.html
In the pic: Derrick Smith