image
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.


* Governor sets special election dates, but they are expected to change
* Pot, meet kettle
* Your feel-good story of the day
* Economists Agree: Preserving Nuclear Plants is Good for Consumers, Good for Economy
* Jacob’s Story: Delayed Treatment Changes the Future and a Family
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Today's must-watch video
* The Credit Union Difference
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 - Dan Brady takes himself out *** Uh-oh
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner goes after some Missouri jobs, but no word yet on Indy
* *** UPDATED x3 *** Oswego will discuss Rauner "right to work" proposal tonight
* Krishnamoorthi, Noland make moves toward Duckworth seat
* Good morning!
* 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

          
        * Microsoft launches MS-DOS Mobile
        * Is this the HTC One M9+?
        * Facebook Ads new Scrapbook Feature for Pictures of your Kids
        * LG G4 case maker shows upcoming device render
        * App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) Beta runs Android Apps in Chrome
        * More Sony Xperia Z4 rumors confirm internals thanks to benchmark
        * Motorola announces the customizable Moto Selfie Stick, available in either wood or leather

        * Samsung Galaxy Alpha Android Lollipop Update In The Works
        * emonPi Raspberry Pi Powered Energy Monitor (video)
        * Onion Omega Linux WiFi Development Board Launches (video)
        * Is The HTC One M9 Waterproof? (Video)
        * LG G4 Cases Turn Up On Amazon
        * Evernote Jot Script 2 Stylus For iOS Launches
        * Create Your Own Private Social Network Using Neobase (video)

        * 'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game
        * 'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game
        * Abreu raises spring average to .519 with four hits in win
        * Rodon: Spring big for comfort level facing big leaguers
        * Shuck, Soto, Albers secure roster spots with White Sox
        * Abreu raises spring average to .519 with four hits in win
        * J.B. Shuck, Geovany Soto and Matt Albers making White Sox roster

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


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

        Archives
        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


        * U of Illinois pushes to finish budget-cuts plan..
        * Schock's staff to face tough prosecutor in spen.....
        * 'Body by Jake' founder bringing fitness campaig.....
        * State airplane sale hitting turbulence again..
        * Emanuel, Garcia square off in final debate..
        * RPT-Smaller equity markets players make presenc.....


        * Naked woman found dead in brush near Brooklyn strip clubs
        * Emanuel and Garcia engage in final debate before vote
        * Rauner schedules special election to replace Schock
        * Judge: Ernie Banks' will giving estate to caretaker is valid
        * Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid
        * Duckworth: Clinton needs to meet with Benghazi committee
        * Union alleges CTA violates free-speech rights
        * Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn't disturb fans
        * Madigan announces Illinois anti-sexual assault effort
        * Chicago Cubs plan opening night Ernie Banks tribute

        * 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
        * Duckworth: Clinton must testify before Benghazi committee
        * Ex-deputy treasurer to fun for Duckworth's seat
        * Ex-deputy treasurer to run for Duckworth's seat
        * LIHEAP utility assistance fund for Sangamon County is empty
        * LaHood talks transportation issues as he kicks off congressional campaign
        * Duckworth to challenge Kirk for U.S. Senate seat

        * Arkansas OKs religious-freedom law as Indiana backtracks
        * Why this tech firm may have to hit the reset button on its patent-suit strategy
        * Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid
        * Three Chicago-area hospice providers to merge
        * Arkansas gives final approval to religious-freedom bill


          * Car crashes through Libertyville home, injuring 2
          * Emanuel, Garcia spar over city finances in final debate
          * Suspect sought in sexual abuse of boy, 14, in Near North neighborhood
          * Popular video captures Jeep fleeing tow truck in Chicago
          * Chicago homicides, shootings up in 2015
          * Police: 16-year-old dead after Englewood shooting, 4 others wounded across city
          * Emanuel, Garcia take different stances on Lucas museum
          * Subpoenas target college president's spending
          * South Loop club temporarily closes after fatal shooting
          * Bali slaying victim's family outraged by prosecutors' call for leniency


          * Flamin' Hot Cheetos top some Chicago Public School vending machines
          * What to watch for in the final mayoral debate
          * Indiana Gov. Pence signs religious objections bill
          * How organizations brace for Illinois budget cuts
          * Unions and Garcia push for $15-an-hour minimum wage
          * The Chicago rabbit: The unofficial face of wildlife is right under your nose
          * Obamacare tax rules trip some immigrants
          * Former Rep. Aaron Schock's staff to face tough prosecutor
          * Behind CPS graduation rates, a system of musical chairs
          * Health care tax rules trip up some immigrants


          * Our Opinion: Proctor, Higgins for Springfield's wards 5 and 7
          * Michael Gerson: The virtues of the smoke-filled room
          * 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
          * Ex-deputy treasurer to fun for Duckworth's seat
          * Our Opinion: Redpath, Senor, McFarland for Springfield's wards 1, 2 and 4
          * Kathleen Parker: A leap of faith — into thin air
          * LIHEAP utility assistance fund for Sangamon County is empty


          * RESTAURANT CHECK
          * Police Beat
          * Bond lowered amid possible federal review of case
          * S. Jax meeting moved to satisfy expected crowd
          * Lawmaker’s staff to face tough prosecutor in spending probe
          * Open Line
          * Room to grow on list of state ‘official’ things
          * Binge drinking a danger that must be abated
          * Jackson County Court Report for March 19-25
          * Linda Johnson


          * Car crashes into Libertyville home
          * Google Maps turns into Pac-Man's chomping grounds for April Fools'
          * Singer Joni Mitchell hospitalized in Los Angeles
          * Roesch delivers as Hoffman Estates wins again
          * Palatine struts to a second straight win

          * Senators pitch changes to FEMA disaster de...
          * Illinois Congressman Bost Says Granite Cit...
          * Two Bowling Green teens arrested on drug c...
          * Bill to improve fairness of federal disast...
          * Davis on Iran talks
          * Longhi: Granite City layoffs not permanent
          * Bost launches Congressional Listening Tour
          * Duckworth’s bid for Kirk’s US Senate seat ...
          * VA Medical Center care atop Duckworth's pr...
          * Duckworth Enters Senate Race

          * Dick Durbin- Chuck Schumer feud over whip ......
          * Schurmer will help Democrats...
          * Dana Milbank: Schumer is leader the Democr......
          * Schumer takes center stage...

          * Duckworth criticizes Kirk over Medicare cuts...
          * Dem Rep: Hillary Sent Classified Info On H......
          * Iran nuclear talks continue past self-impo......

          * “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
          * Overnight Parking Ban Ends, Street Sweeping Season Begins
          * Hoosiers eating crow?!? The race to backtrack from “religious freedom”
          * Need to Wash the Winter Off Your Vehicle?
          * Get Your Mad Men On At Fat Cat
          * Chicago's Fight For 15 Campaign To Expand Beyond Fast Food Workers (VIDEO)
          * Chicago's Fight For $15 Campaign To Expand Beyond Fast Food Workers (VIDEO)
          * EXTRA: Are gangs a worthy question?
          * Come to Driftwood For A Fundraiser and Fun on Friday
          * Come to Driftwood For A Fundraiser and Fun on Friday May 8th


          * IDHS Prescription Monitoring program helps control prescription drugs abuse in Illinois - Program has more than 26,000 registered users
          * Illinois Mayors to Celebrate National Service - April 7, 2015 Designated as “Mayors Day of Recognition”
          * Governor Rauner Takes Bill Action
          * Governor Announces Appointments B.R. Lane to lead Illinois Lottery; John Holden to continue leading Dept. of Aging
          * USDA Awards Grant to Illinois' JTED-SNAP Employment & Training Grant - Program helps participants find jobs and promotes business growth




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