SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 - Lawyer: Smith will appear before committee *** Derrick Smith’s attorney claims client was entrapped

Monday, Apr 30, 2012

*** UPDATE *** He may appear, but will he really say anything? We’ll see. From Illinois Issues

A lawmaker who is set to enter a plea today on bribery charges also plans to appear before a legislative committee charged with deciding whether he will face disciplinary action. […]

Victor Henderson, Smith’s lawyer, said that Smith plans to appear before the House committee. “Yes. He absolutely will be appearing in Springfield in front of the committee,” Henderson said. “The representative will definitely be there and is looking forward to the opportunity to speak in some detail about where he is and his continued desire to serve and represent the people in his district.”

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* It’s been expected all along that Rep. Smith would claim he was entrapped somehow into accepting a $7,000 cash bribe, so this is no big surprise

Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith will plead not guilty Monday to a federal bribery charge, according to an attorney for the Chicago Democrat. […]

Vic Henderson is Smith’s attorney, and he’s strongly hinting he’ll argue the government entrapped his client.

“The government’s own information that is publicly available indicates that they manufactured documents, created - I think - fictitious website venues and things of that nature,” Henderson said in an interview last week.

Separate from the criminal proceedings, an Illinois House special investigating committee is looking into the allegations, a process that could end in Smith’s expulsion.

“He’s going to continue to serve as he was elected to do, and we’re going to defend him and business will go on as usual,” Henderson said.

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column expresses impatience

State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) may have more legal troubles than his federal bribery indictment.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has told the House Special Investigating Committee that his office’s investigation of Smith has not concluded.

“I can tell you that our investigation of Representative Smith is continuing,” Fitzgerald wrote, which could be an indication that the government may file more charges.

But the active federal investigation also means that Fitzgerald refused to cooperate with the committee, which is looking into the allegations to determine if any legislative action is warranted against Smith. Fitzgerald also asked the committee to not do any investigating beyond what already is in the public record, except for interviewing Smith himself.

Smith cannot be forced to testify to the special committee, but that refusal can be held against him when it comes time to recommend whether punitive action should be taken.

Fitzgerald wrote his letter April 10, but the committee didn’t meet to discuss it until 16 days later. Another hearing may not happen for a couple of weeks. This thing is in real danger of dragging on through the summer if the committee doesn’t get its act together soon.

Last week, a member of the House committee privately defended the slow process to date, pointing to the time it took to kick former Gov. Rod Blagojevich out of office.

But Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 8, 2008 and removed from office by the Senate on Jan. 29, 2009 — a total of 53 days start to finish, including House impeachment hearings, two House impeachment votes (one before and one after new members were sworn in), Senate hearings and a full Senate trial and vote to remove.

Smith was arrested March 13, 45 days before last week’s special committee meeting. By Blagojevich standards, Smith should be removed from office by the end of this week. But as I write this, the House doesn’t appear to be close to completing the first small step in the process.

The special committee is the initial step in the process of removal (or other punishment). If it decides that punishment is warranted, another committee will be appointed to decide what punishment, if any, should be meted out. Then the full House has to debate and vote on the matter. It’ll take a two-thirds majority vote to expel Smith.

There are indications that at least some Democratic members of the House committee aren’t completely convinced that this is a slam-dunk case. As if being arrested after allegedly accepting $7,000 in cash in exchange for providing an official letter of recommendation and having it all caught on tape somehow isn’t enough to warrant some sort of punishment for Smith.

I mean, even if the guy was entrapped (and the feds are pretty good about avoiding that), he’s still heard on an FBI tape while a “cooperating witness” counts out a pile of cash for him.

Cooperating witness: “One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Damn, stuck together. Six. Seven. Talk to you later.”

Smith: “You don’t want me to give you yours now? … I’m gonna get you your two, man!”

I can understand why House members don’t want to set a dangerous precedent of kicking out a fellow member after only an arrest. I completely agree that such a radical move should definitely not be a blanket policy.

But Smith was indicted on federal bribery charges directly related to his official legislative duties. This was not a drunken driving case or some minor crime relating to his personal life or something trumped up by a local, partisan prosecutor.

A recent statewide poll I’ve seen shows that just 29 percent of likely Illinois voters approve of the job that the Legislature is doing, while 61 percent disapprove. Endless dawdling on the Smith case won’t do anything to improve that pathetic standing with the public. It’s time to get this Smith inquiry moving, already.

* A different Derrick Smith has been popping up on Google News lately. This Derrick Smith owns a horse that’s racing in the Kentucky Derby. Daddy Long Legs is owned by Smith and others. I’m not sure if that’s a good omen for betting or a bad one. Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


18 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 9:25 am:

    “…fictitious website venues and things of that nature”

    Good for you Derrick. They thought so “much” of you they created stuff!

    “Show me the money” works for Rod Tidwell. Counting the money works for a US Attorney for convictions.


  2. - Excessively Rabid - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 9:30 am:

    In an era when elected officials no longer feel obliged to resign because of mere disgrace, maybe we need a statute that treats them like other employees. I propose this: if you’re indicted for a felony or serious misdemeanor (either Federal or state), you’re suspended without pay and the governor appoints an interim; if you’re convicted, you’re terminated and a special election is held to fill the vacancy (if there’s time to hold one before the general). If you’re found not guilty, only then would there be any inquiries held by other elected officials as to whether there was non-criminal misconduct. No more grandstanding pols getting in the way of the prosecution.


  3. - ChicagoR - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 9:40 am:

    Note to self for the future: If someone is counting out your bribery payment out loud, they are probably wearing a wire.


  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 9:48 am:

    Smith had been in office exactly one year when he was arrested. That has to be some sort of land-speed record.

    It’s also the most interesting part of the story to me. Why were the federales on a nobody so quickly? Why did they go to that much trouble?

    Did they have a snitch on something else who took them upstream? Did Smith have a “For Sale” sign around his neck? Or are they after his clout?


  5. - Tired - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 9:49 am:

    There is a system to eradicate situations like these from happening. It is called election time. However it seems like public just doesn’t care about them anymore


  6. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 9:51 am:

    Again, the feds chose not to record two key conversations:

    - the conversation where the bribe was offered

    - the conversation where the bribe was accepted.

    For all I can tell from the indictment, Smith is guilty of attempting to evade Illinois campaign finance laws. He owed the FBI informant $2K for all of his campaign work and they agreed to cash payments under the table so it wouldnt show up on the reports.

    Because the FBI didnt record key conversations, we only have the informants word for what was said. Is the informant a reliable and honest witness? We will find out at trial…but I’m guessing he or she is no Boy Scout.


  7. - Jimbo - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 9:54 am:

    Was he counting out thousand dollar bills?


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 9:59 am:

    ===My take on that aspect is that Smith was “open for business”, and off the reservation so far, that the “G” was shocked to find Smith had no one to “give up” AND that “For Sale” sign was just for him.

    Allegedly. All Allegedly.===

    I am sticking with my thoughts on what got Rep. Smith.


  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 10:12 am:

    Jimbo, those were stacks.


  10. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 10:32 am:

    If all Derrick Smith’s attorney has to argue here is entrapment, Derrick Smith is screwed.

    A successful entrapment defense needs: (1) government inducement of the crime, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY (2) the defendant’s lack of predisposition to engage in the criminal conduct.

    Derrick Smith was already fired from a previous government job for using his position to benefit himself. Is a jury really going to buy that he was the unwary innocent here to make this entrapment defense work?


  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    Good column Rich.

    My main hesitation with railroading Smith is the fact that we don’t know the identity of CS-1. So far, it seems he/she is the government’s only witness. My guess is that CS-1 was cooperating with the government on matters that relate to the 27th Ward and/or another West Side legislator. Smith apparently didn’t know of the G’s interest in his little part of the world, being new to the big game. Now he knows and so does everyone else.

    I agree with YDD post questioning why the government failed to record two key conversations. That raises some questions. And it’s at least plausible to argue entrapment given the transcripts that were in the criminal complaint. From memory, Smith seemed to at least twice raise concerns about whether writing a letter would result in a successful grant award, pointing that he did not have direct influence on the ultimate approval of a grant.

    How many legislators have written letters of support to state agencies on behalf of constituents seeking state grants who were also campaign donors? If that’s illegal, then no one is safe from allegations like this.


  12. - Jimbo - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 11:54 am:

    I was going to say, I didn’t think they made those anymore, and if they did, it seems kind of conspicuous to be a legislator spending K-notes.


  13. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 12:24 pm:

    @47th Ward

    But if Smith is arguing entrapment, then the two unrecorded conversations are irrelevant. If Smith argues entrapment then he’s admitting to doing everything the government says he did.

    He’s just saying he shouldn’t be punished for it because the government tricked him and he was an unwary innocent, not an unwary criminal.


  14. - Learning the Ropes - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    Every time I hear “entrapment” I think of “The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law” http://thecriminallawyer.tumblr.com/post/19810672629/12-i-was-entrapped


  15. - Wensicia - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    ==Smith was indicted on federal bribery charges directly related to his official legislative duties.==

    That should be enough to dismiss Smith from the House. He’s going to turn this into a circus, is this what they want going into fall elections?


  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 3:42 pm:

    @Wensicia -

    I’d say that the provision in Illinois law which bars those with felony convictions from holding public office makes it clear that the intend of current law is that people not be removed solely on the basis of “indictment.”

    If the Legislature had intended that anyone indicted be removed from office, then the law would say that.

    Do we really want to hand over to 103 State’s Attorneys the presumptive power to remove state officials from office solely on the basis of an indictment? For all of the great prosecutors out there, there’s guys like Jeff Tomczak, who indicted an innocent man and suited him up for Death Row just prior to an election, allowing exonerating evidence to go unexamined for 8 months.


  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 3:53 pm:

    @Hisgirlfriday -

    True, as part of the entrapment defense, Smith would have to argue that he took a bribe.

    He IS going to have to decide whether or not to do that, or whether his intent all along was something entirely different.

    However, after that, the burden is on the government to demonstrate he’s predisposed. He’s written, we’re told by the media, two letters of recommendations, only one which involved alleged malfeasance.

    Moreover, he’s accepted and reported presumably tens of thousands of dollars in contributions, and I’m assuming everyone who made those contributions would testify there was no quid pro quo.

    Again, we have no transcripts or recorded evidence of Smith saying he was looking for bribes generally, the initial discussion of this alleged bribe, nor the agreement with the CI to produce a letter in exchange for a bribe.

    As for Smith’s history, unless he was convicted of something as a city employee, I’m not sure that’s even admissible unless he takes the stand. But I’m no expert on evidence rules.


  18. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 30, 12 @ 4:11 pm:

    ==There is a system to eradicate situations like these from happening. It is called election time.==

    We have had state elections every two years for quite some time, but eradication of elected officials’ mischief does not seem to happen. If anything, it only allows another weed to take root. And there is no real “punishment” in not re-electing someone, unless subsequently getting appointed to an agency directorship or paid state board at a higher salary is considered punishment. Or the losing incumbent becomes a lobbyist, still at more money than a legislative salary. I suppose losing the opportunity to bloviate in the public forum may be punishment for some, but not being re-elected still has its rewards.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Good morning!
* Final thoughts before calling it a night
* *** UPDATED x3 - Script *** Quinn airs radio ad of Rauner joking about being "scared" of four African-Americans
* Karen Lewis endorses Chuy Garcia for mayor
* Friday night TV ad rating
* 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

          
        * Nexus 6 sells out in minutes, DROID Turbo goes ballistic, Microsoft Band sneaks out early | Pocketnow Weekly 120
        * Roku adds Google Play Movies & TV to its feature list
        * Minuum iOS update picks up new languages, advanced settings (Giveaway)
        * A final word from Taylor Martin
        * Battleheart Legacy signals Mika Mobile’s return to Android
        * AT&T and Verizon Boost Monthly Wireless Data in Ongoing Competition
        * Smash Champs lets you become a legendary trainer

        * How to Enable On-Screen buttons on Mi 3 & Redmi 1S
        * Sprint Leases Samsung Galaxy S5 For $20 A Month
        * OnePlus One With Yellow Kevlar Back Poses For The Camera
        * Android 5.0 Lollipop Update for Samsung Galaxy S5 Progressing Nicely (Video)
        * HTC Maintains Profitability For the Third Quarter
        * T-Mobile To Launch Samsung Gear S on November 9th for $14.58 A Month
        * LG G3 Dual-LTE To Launch in Russia in November

        * Fall Stars Game filled to brim with talent
        * Fall Stars Game filled to brim with talent
        * White Sox opt to decline Paulino's '15 option
        * White Sox have flexibility to pursue multiple upgrades
        * White Sox offseason plan roundup: Third base
        * Minnie Miñoso belongs in the Hall of Fame
        * Development of young core in '15 can define Chicago's future


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

        Archives
        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


        * Inmate freed in landmark Illinois case..
        * Documentarian Recalls the 1986 World Series Cha.....
        * Tokyo Thrills the Global Stock Markets..
        * Ill. 14th District: Hultgren, Anderson emphasiz.....
        * Judgment Day: Incumbents are in trouble..


        * Lake Michigan waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * Creator of Operation couldn't afford own operation
        * Union backs county commissioner for Chicago mayor
        * Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case
        * Lake Michigan waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * Wallenda ready for windy Chicago tightrope walks
        * Woman charged with defrauding Illinois couple
        * Quinn, Rauner talk jobs, early voting Friday
        * Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case
        * Cook County Jail guard faces theft charge

        * State contribution to TRS to increase by $300 million next year
        * Former Gov. Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Inmate freed from Jacksonville prison in landmark Illinois case
        * Cross opposes income tax hike extension
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race
        * Madigan’s office seeks clarifications from former Topinka nonprofit
        * Cross says no to income tax hike extension, sales tax on services
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take backseat in governor’s race
        * Illinois inmate freed in landmark capital punishment case

        * SEC examines Caterpillar's accounting for Bucyrus
        * Cubs hire Maddon as manager, fire Renteria
        * Karen Lewis endorses Jesus Garcia for Chicago mayor
        * A stormy Lake Michigan swamps Lake Shore Drive – and sinks Chicago's mood
        * A stormy Lake Michigan swamps Lake Shore Drive — and sinks Chicago's mood


        * Garcia: I'm a serious mayoral candidate, not just a protest vote
        * Boy, 3, hit by car while trick-or-treating in Winnetka
        * On O’Hare noise, aldermen demand action, but get no satisfaction
        * A higher standard of criminal justice
        * Ex-Northwestern doctor to pay $475K to settle fraud claims
        * Sad day  when  Catholic  schools  close
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Durbin, Oberweis square off for final time
        * State’s attorney investigating alderman’s prize offer to voters


        * 3 injured, 1 fatally, in shootings
        * Karen Lewis endorses Garcia for mayor in new video
        * Boy, 3, struck by car while trick-or-treating in Winnetka
        * Missing Garfield Ridge man located
        * Trial to begin for Darien man charged in 2012 killing
        * Alleged victims of ex-Wilmette teacher share memories online
        * New rules make Illinois voting easier
        * Federal judge refuses government request to close terrorism hearing
        * Emanuel's top attorney: Watchdog had no right to sue
        * Cops release photos in robbery and attack of police sergeant


        * Scary Story: St. Michael And Mr. Pyles By H.W. Devlin
        * Dodging DUIs: Secretary of State Candidates Faceoff
        * Cook County posting indigent burials in 'virtual cemetery'
        * Whom do you trust when it comes to nutrition advice?
        * Zombie barge sinking in storm at Navy Pier
        * The digital afterlife
        * Making Buildings Healthier From The Inside Out
        * Scary Story: Planes By Ted Morrissey
        * Listen to State Week - October 31, 2014
        * "Monster Mash" Celebrates Halloween With Classical Music


        * E.J. Dionne: Moderate thunder out of Kansas
        * Charles Krauthammer: A referendum on competence
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 1
        * State contribution to TRS to increase by $300 million next year
        * Former Gov. Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Esther Cepeda: Elizabeth Pena: Trailblazer on the big screen
        * Andy Shaw: Voter turnout instrumental to reform
        * Ty Fahner: What if the Court rejects pension reform?
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Quote of the Day: Friday, Oct. 31


        * 'Horrific' crash kills 4 in Vandalia
        * Women's event gifts spark GOP protest
        * Spartans get past Pawnee
        * Abandoned boy to stay with foster family
        * Police reports
        * Experience, integrity at heart of Pike race
        * Beardstown schools hope for levy increase
        * Hybrid Court restores 9 more lives
        * Davidsmeyer, Evans seek 100th District seat
        * Looking Back (Nov. 1, 2014)


        * Naperville Central rallies for victory
        * (No heading)
        * Timothy Christian advances to championship game
        * Stevenson recovers against Ross, Lyons
        * Wheaton Warrenville South produces another miracle

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Senate Candidates On Climate Change...
        * Senate Candidates On Climate Change...
        * Senate Candidates On Climate Change...
        * Senate Candidates On Climate Change...
        * Senate Candidates On Climate Change...

        * Tale of the tape: Obama's campaigning a fa......
        * Sen. Mark Kirk questioned by Triton students...

        * Op-Ed: The Ups & Downs of Election Laws, Are Voters Being Tricked at the Door?
        * Andrew Klavan: Is Obamacare Working, Or Are We All Going to Die? [video]
        * Di Leo: The Ebola Epidemic and the American Election
        * The Federal Reserve’s Track Record on Macro Stabilization [video]
        * Where's Weyermuller? Oberweis vs Durbin Debate
        * Muslim Researcher: Women Driving Increases Fornication, Divorce [video]
        * Durbin and Oberweis close campaign on WTTW's Chicago Tonight
        * Opportunity in America: What It Means and How It Grows [video]
        * Last Weekend For Early Voting
        * RNC says "Get Rid of Obamacare - Vote Republican" [video]


        * Editorial: Governors, raining taxpayer $ on Illinois
        * Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel Thank New Safe Passage Workers - Nearly 700 Additional Workers Hired This Year to Serve 133 Schools, 69,000 Students Across the City
        * Editorial: Rauner best choice as governor to begin to reverse Illinois’ fortunes
        * Quinn to celebrate Rauner’s UI Labs accomplishment
        * Another Democrat Runs Away From Pat Quinn




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