image
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Smith Attorney: Feds wanted info on Jesse White - Smith hearing delayed while feds take action

Monday, Apr 9, 2012

* Rep. Derrick Smith’s attorney made some explosive allegations last week

Victor Henderson, the lawyer for accused Illinois State Representative Derrick Smith tells “The Don and Roma Show” on WLS, that the reason federal authorities charged Smith with bribery, was because they wanted him to give up information about possible wrongdoing by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Smith’s long-time political mentor.

“What I’m telling you is that we have had people coming into our office and tell us that the federal government was leaning on Derrick Smith to give up names, and Jesse White was one of those names.”

When asked specifically if the Feds leaned on Smith for information, Henderson said, “I’m telling you that they leaned on him and the story will come out for other names. And that he stood tall and would not do it.”

WLS contacted Dave Druker, the media spokesman for Jesse White, who told us, “Jesse White has a 36 year unblemished public record. This is an unfounded desperate charge. We have no further comment.”

White also said he will likely find an independent candidate to run against Smith this November if he doesn’t resign from the ballot.

* In other news

The Illinois House panel investigating a Chicago lawmaker accused of bribery is holding off on hearings next week because of the potential for more activity in federal court.

The latest developments in the case of Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, emerged in a letter released Saturday by the ranking lawmakers of both parties on the House Special Investigating Committee.

“We have learned that there is a possibility of further court action in the criminal proceeding involving Representative Smith toward the end of the week of April 9,” wrote Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz, the committee chair from Northbrook, and Republican Rep. Dennis Reboletti, the minority spokesman from Elmhurst.

The House committee had anticipated meeting next week. But the lawmakers said a hearing will be postponed the House returns to Springfield in mid-April. The letter, written to other lawmakers on the panel, said that will allow time to “review and respond to any information that might come out during the additional court proceedings.”

The full letter is here. It’s likely that Smith will be formally indicted this week.

* Meanwhile, Secretary White talked about Rep. Smith on Fox Chicago Sunday



FOX Chicago Sunday: Secretary of State Jesse White on Illinois Politics: MyFoxCHICAGO.com

* And my syndicated newspaper column that was published last week during my vacation was about an interview with White

I’ve been pretty rough on Secretary of State Jesse White lately. I have no regrets about it, and I believe I had good reason to put the onus on him to correct his mistake of appointing Derrick Smith to the Illinois House last year. Smith, of course, was arrested earlier this month on federal bribery charges.

Secretary White requested a sit-down last week and I was more than happy to meet with him. I’ve always respected the guy, but I told him in no uncertain terms that I stood by everything I wrote and will continue to hold him responsible for resolving this mess.

White initially blamed his alderman and protege Walter Burnett for Smith’s appointment. Burnett, White said, didn’t fully inform him about Smith’s background problems (Smith was fired from his city job and the Chicago Sun-Times reported a few years ago that he’d been accused of malfeasance). That’s no excuse, however. White is the top dog and the blame rests with him. He agreed.

The Secretary said he had put some thought into how he wants the replacement process to work if Smith resigns or is expelled from the House. White said he wanted to make sure that whoever replaces Smith is “blue chip,” and showed me a list of his priorities for vetting the wannabes, including a complete background check.

White also said he wants the potential replacements to fill out an “extensive questionnaire” about their backgrounds and their plans for the future. He wants them to write an essay, including a statement on why they want to be a legislator and what proposals they’d like to initiate in Springfield.

Interestingly, White said he also wants to know how much the potential replacements earn every year. He pointed out that Smith took a significant pay cut from the secretary of state’s office when he was appointed to the House, and he speculated that the alleged bribery might have at least partially been due to that reduced income, combined with an alleged criminal bent, White quickly added. The secretary wants to make the appointment process “open and transparent” to not only everyone interested in the appointment, but to the general public as well.

If Smith resigns or is ultimately expelled from the House, White won’t make the replacement appointment alone. The 10th House District encompasses nine Chicago wards, so other Democratic ward committeemen will be involved. White stressed that his list is not the final word. He said he also wants the district’s other committeemen to come up with ideas for vetting the candidates to make sure they get the right person.

White said he intends to put as much energy and effort into the replacement as he did helping Patricia Van Pelt Watkins defeat Sen. Annazette Collins (D-Chicago) in the Democratic primary. The secretary said he’s been in regular contact with Ald. Jason Ervin, a young and seemingly bright go-getter who will have a major say in the appointment as well (I chatted with the alderman a few weeks ago in Collins’ West Side campaign office and was fairly impressed). Ervin backed Collins against Watkins, but White said he’s confident the two can work together and claims that they’re already putting the past behind them.

Despite some initial defensiveness (probably because I’ve been so harsh on him), White manned up last week and admitted he’d made a terrible mistake with Smith, calling the legislator one of the worst he’d ever seen in all his years. He appears to understand the damage this scandal has done to his once sterling reputation, and he also seems determined to do the right thing when it comes time to replace Smith.

The proof, of course, will be in the pudding. Getting all this done won’t be easy. The West Side is also the Wild West. Self interest and petty turf wars far too often trump public service in that part of the world. Watkins’ victory signaled a fresh start, however. Voters in nine of the district’s 12 wards went with Watkins over Collins, despite a fortune spent on Collins’ behalf. White may yet succeed. We’ll know soon enough.

Discuss

- Posted by Rich Miller        


14 Comments
  1. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 9:22 am:

    Nice journalism, Rich. I look forward to seeing the process unfold.


  2. - Shore - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 9:28 am:

    Jesse White is an incredible man who has had a storied career and as a Republican I’ve praised him here for my experiences at the dmv , but it’s time for him to go. What’s so disgusting about this episode isn’t his pathetic lack of judgement it’s the timing of this coming in the wake of blago entering prison and it sends a thoroughly depressing message to the state and country that nothing has changed.

    Addios pal.


  3. - Hank - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 9:30 am:

    Smith is apparently going to use the “Beavers Defense”…they wanted me to snitch on (fill in the blank) but I wouldn’t so I’m a hero, please place the medal on my chest!


  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 9:37 am:

    Smith isn’t snitching because he has nobody to snitch on. Smith is the crook & he knows it. He knows that neither Jesse White, nor anyone else had anything to do with the crime at hand.


  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 9:47 am:

    It’s certainly plausible that the federales were trying to flip Smith. Getting small fry to give up bigger fish is standard practice, as we all know from watching the various parades of flippers in federal courts in recent years.

    Smith doesn’t strike me as some big hitter who would be at the top of the U.S. Attorney’s list on his own merits, or lack thereof.


  6. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    Trial run of the Beaver’s defense? Would allow for time to develop a plan B if it goes down in flames.


  7. - TCB - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    Ofcourse Smith isn’t going to snitch, he has nobody to snitch on. Smith is the crook and he knows it.


  8. - Fed up - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 10:09 am:

    Well Jessie White does employee a f,ew family members and he has made some questionable moves regarding leases for state facilities. People always give him the benifit of the doubt but it might be time for White to gracefully move on. He sure has made a mess of his attempts at being a kingmaker


  9. - Nagidam - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 10:12 am:

    It would not surprise me if the G asked if Smith had anything on Jesse White. They would not be doing their jobs if they didn’t see where the investigation went. It would surprise me if Smith had anything. Smith is not very bright and Whites handlers would never let someone like him to get in the top circle.


  10. - tired of press - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    It will take more than this for me to believe that Jesse White is not a man of integrity. He definitely called a bad shot with Smith. But, it is also easy to believe that Smith’s bad judgement was out of his control, and a complete surprise to him. It also sounds like he is doing his best to fix this mistake.

    Also noteworthy: Jesse White showed zero tolerance for the much smaller ethical lapses of Annazette Collins, even though it would have been easy to let her keep on going, as the rest of the Democratic Party was so happy to do. In fact, they dumped a load of money in that race.

    Dumping her and backing Watkins was a huge risk for him (and originally quite a long-shot). He backed Watkins AFTER originally supporting Collins for the seat. Seems like he did it because he was genuinely disappointed in Collins and impressed with Watkins. In other words, it was the right thing to do.

    Overall, this state would be a much, much better place if politicians had the integrity of Jesse White–and the willingness to account for and remedy their mistakes. That’s a lot to ask for when it comes to politics.


  11. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    ==“I’m telling you that they leaned on him and the story will come out for other names. And that he stood tall and would not do it.”==

    But, apparently, atty. Henderson will. Nice move.


  12. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    I’m betting that the primary target is not White but Alderman Burnett.

    White has taken most of the political heat, but from what I’ve read, Burnett was Smith’s political sponsor.

    If the feds are sincere in going after Secretary White, they are gonna need more than just a little luck. Its not like Jesse sends a bunch of emails or is known for yakking on his cell phone, so you’ve got no physical evidence. And even if you could get someone from his inner sanctum to flip - which I doubt - good luck finding a jury to convict.

    Presuming of course he did anything criminal, which I highly doubt. BTW, all of this “time to go” talk assures he runs again, just for vindication.


  13. - bourbonrich - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 1:02 pm:

    Is anyone else surprised that he took a pay cut when he became a legislator? SoS must pay really, really, really well.


  14. - Quinn T. Sential - Monday, Apr 9, 12 @ 3:08 pm:

    You missed a tremendous opportunity to address the subject of “low information voters”.

    Conjecture suggests that race was an influencing factor suggesting this qualification, but I suspoect that there is more to it than that.

    It would have been interesting at least to get the Secretary’s perspective of that assessment of the areas voters if for no other reason than to provide them with a spiritied defense as something more than automated robots for doing as they are told when it comes to voting.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* *** UPDATED x1 *** Kirk blasts Indiana law as "un-American"
* Gay marriage, concealed carry and "right to work"?
* Poll: Illinoisans not wild about fracking
* Only Exelon will Benefit
* Question of the day
* Finally, some coverage
* Is Durbin about to lose his leadership gig?
* Poll shows ten-point lead for Hopkins
* Shenanigans?
* Chicago area powering job growth
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Governor sets special election dates, but they are expected to change
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * New Chromebook ad shows they are ‘for everyone, everywhere’
        * Philips Debuts 'Hue Go' iPhone-Connected Portable Light
        * Images of an upcoming Oppo R series handset leak
        * Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge owner receives two units with alleged scratched screens
        * Marvel Mighty Heroes hands-on: a game with too many twists
        * Boulder Dash now has premium version of 30th Anniversary edition
        * Create and control levels in Doodle Adventures

        * ADATA’s New Ultra-Rugged USB 3.0 External Hard Drive For Mac Users
        * Mouse Computer Outs Another Entry-Level 11.6-Inch Mobile Notebook
        * Osmo is an addictively fun iPad edutainment toy that isn't just for kids
        * Panasonic’s New HC-W570 Full HD Camcorder With Rotatable Sub-Camera
        * Check Out The Latest Octa-Core Android 4.4 Smartphone From Intex
        * Inside the Cadillac CT6, a Luxury Sedan Game Changer
        * Apple Reportedly Asking Content Producers To Supply Their Own Streams

        * 'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game
        * 'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game
        * Working on his stuff, Shark not bothered by spring HRs
        * Sox split squad racks up 22 hits, routs Mariners
        * Shark roughed up early in final Cactus start
        * Shark roughed up early by Padres in final Cactus start
        * Sale remains on track for April 12 season debut

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * There's no debate: Phil Ponce blew it last night..
        * Gov. Rauner says 'no' to Indiana travel ban..
        * USGS reports 4.0 magnitude earthquake near Stee.....
        * ‘Body by Jake’ founder bringing fitness campaign..
        * Saluki Athletics, Policy Institute could hit SI.....
        * TALKING POINTS: Busy time for state lawmakers..
        * Barickman hopeful education funding bill will a.....
        * Gay marriage, concealed carry and “right to work”?..
        * University of Illinois pushes to finish budget .....
        * Dart: Prison Population Will Jump Because Of Ra.....


        * Inmate overpowers guard, escapes from eastern Illinois jail
        * Illinois governor, GOP US senator criticize Indiana law
        * Naked woman found dead in brush near Brooklyn strip clubs
        * US gives threatened status to northern long-eared bat
        * AG seeks to suspend license of Gary funeral home director
        * Lawyers: U of Illinois broke contract with professor
        * Escaped inmate's SUV discovered in Kankakee
        * Judge to rule on free-speech question in Chicago mayor race
        * Escaped Illinois inmate beat guard into unconsciousness
        * Illinois corn acreage projected to decline in 2015

        * Judge hears arguments on attorney fees in state retiree insurance case
        * More heating assistance funds available in Sangamon County
        * Struggle for Durbin's Senate leadership position may loom
        * Rauner, Kirk criticize Indiana religious objections law
        * Illinois gets just 1 bid in online sale of state planes
        * Illinois sees lack of bids in online auction of state planes
        * Rauner schedules special election to replace Schock
        * Duckworth says Clinton must testify on Benghazi, criticizes Kirk for Iran letter
        * Q&A: What happens now that Aaron Schock is out of office?
        * State's school districts adapt to new cyberbullying law

        * To labor activists, McD's minimum-wage play is a few fries short
        * Pricey Easter eggs? Blame old man winter
        * Nation's largest power-grid operator delays key auction
        * To labor activists, McDonald's minimum-wage play is a few fries short
        * Rauner, Kirk criticize Indiana law


          * Suit: Facebook facial recognition technology violates Illinois privacy laws
          * CPS employee charged with sexual abuse
          * Gary funeral director faces suspension over infant remains
          * Large brush fire in Lockport spreads to parking lot, draws other agencies
          * Valparaiso march draws 200 opposed to state's religious freedom law
          * Cops: Authorities still hunting for escaped murderer
          * Mom of biracial man killed by Madison officer trusts prosecutor
          * 1 dead 4 injured in separate shootings across Chicago
          * Money flows from eclectic list of donors in College of DuPage trustee races
          * 2 brothers charged with intimidating cops in case involving 3rd brother


          * Legal expert says Illinois 'got it right' regarding its religious freedom law
          * The legacy of Michael Jordan in Chicago
          * After spending scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock says goodbye
          * Ice stalls Great Lakes shipping season
          * Rauner signs into law compromise plan to fix budget hole
          * Indiana law: Sorting fact from fiction from politics
          * More people moved away from Illinois last year than any other state
          * Indiana pastor doesn’t want changes to 'religious freedom' law
          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top some Chicago Public School vending machines
          * What to watch for in the final mayoral debate


          * Our Opinion: Theilen, Donelan, Chiles for Springfield wards 8, 9, 10
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Gaps in reporting create campaign spending questions
          * Elizabeth Robb: Eliminate automatic transfer of children to adult court in Illinois
          * Eugene Robinson: Don't make a bad situation worse
          * George Will: The rough math facing Ted Cruz
          * Judge hears arguments on attorney fees in state retiree insurance case
          * More heating assistance funds available in Sangamon County
          * Struggle for Durbin's Senate leadership position may loom
          * Rauner, Kirk criticize Indiana religious objections law
          * Illinois gets just 1 bid in online sale of state planes


          * Fling: In Brief
          * Agenda — South Jacksonville village trustees
          * Bye Bye Birdie rehearsal
          * Wednesday's highlights: Centennial, SJ-O baseball duel
          * Athletes of the Week: Cole Berry and Molly Fairfield
          * Softball Top 10: Spartans rule in early stages
          * Lottery results
          * 'Body by Jake' founder bringing fitness campaign to Illinois
          * Spring prep: Still work to be done before scrimmage
          * Tate: Different rushing strokes for different football folks


          * Ex-Cardinals linebacker Acho joins Bears on one-year deal
          * Sweeney's sweet swing lifts Barrington
          * Police add patrols after attack on Busse Woods jogger
          * Anaheim Ducks clinch Pacific Division title, rout Oilers 5-1
          * Paul scores 41, Clippers rally to beat Blazers 126-122

          * US Rep. Randy Hultgren joins bipartisan gr...
          * Davis plans to keep Schock campaign donation
          * Republicans propose to freeze Pell grant f...
          * Congressman Davis Tours Clinton Nuclear Po...
          * Crystal Lake manufacturer shows value of f...
          * Schneider to Start Comeback Campaign Thursday
          * Crystal Lake robotics team advances to wor...
          * Lawmakers Reintroduce Bill to Revise FEMA ...
          * As Illinois' Common Core Testing Begins, H...
          * Duckworth’s bid for Kirk’s US Senate seat ...

          * Sen. Chuck Schumer's path to becoming mino......
          * Schumer is the leader the Democrats need...
          * Reid's exit sets off Senate leadership scr......
          * Paul scores 41, Clippers rally to beat Bla......
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Gaps in reporting crea......

          * Great White Hope: Why Some Dems Are Moving......
          * U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey In......
          * Senate Republicans fiddle while world warms...

          * The 10G Network
          * Easter/Passover to give us massive sports brawl for public attention
          * 46th Ward Candidates Face Off On Chicago Tonight
          * “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
          * Rogers Park Road Rage Incident Caught On Video
          * Challenging the right to work for less in Oswego
          * Report: Chicago Aldermanic Campaigns See Few Donations From Small Donors
          * Report: Chicago Aldermanic Campaigns See Few Small Donations
          * The Future of Our Parties
          * Andrzejewski: Worse Than City Hall--Fighting An 'Instrumentality Of The State'


          * Don’t Forget Pets When Planning for Disasters - IEMA, local emergency management agencies to focus on pet preparedness throughout April
          * IDHS Prescription Monitoring program helps control prescription drugs abuse in Illinois - Program has more than 26,000 registered users
          * Gov. Rauner File Writs of Special Election
          * Governor Announces Appointments to Illinois Enterprise Zone
          * Illinois Mayors to Celebrate National Service - April 7, 2015 Designated as “Mayors Day of Recognition”




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller