*** UPDATE 1 *** That live video link of the Smith hearing is here.
*** UPDATE 2 *** The House managers have recommended expulsion for Rep. Smith.
*** UPDATE 3 *** The House Select Committee on Discipline voted 11-1 to expel Rep. Smith.
*** UPDATE 3 *** Rep. Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields) was the only “no” vote on the expulsion roll call.
…Adding… Here’s a ScribbleLive feed…
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* The Sun-Times matches up dates in West Side Democratic Rep. Derrick Smith’s indictment with session days and finds that Smith could’ve been plotting to accept a bribe while he was on duty in Springfield…
A Chicago Sun-Times review of phone calls between Smith and the mole that federal investigators identified in their criminal complaint and the House journal turned up numerous, unreported occasions when Smith actually was in Springfield, allegedly conversing over the phone with the informant.
That detail could surface Thursday during a key hearing when a legislative panel weighing Smith’s political future hears arguments to punish him with sanctions as severe as expulsion.
“That building is so impressive. You can’t walk in there without thinking it’s the people’s business,” David Morrison, deputy director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said of the statehouse. “If he’s going to be at the Capitol, the notion he was engaging in allegedly corrupt activities is all the more egregious.”
In their criminal complaint against Smith, federal prosecutors outlined 17 secretly recorded telephone conversations between Smith and the mole offering the bribe. Seven of those calls fell on days the House was in session and Smith was on the job. On six of those days, it was Smith doing the calling, according to the complaint.
There’s no way to tell on those seven days what exactly Smith was doing in Springfield when the calls were made because investigators don’t allude to times for the calls in the complaint.
Smith’s lawyer, Victor Henderson, declined comment Wednesday when asked about whether his client had those conversations with the government informant on days the Legislature was in session and Smith was in Springfield.
Henderson is fighting to keep the criminal complaint that refers to all of the calls and tells the narrative of Smith’s alleged crime out of the committee’s record, but the two House managers believe it should be included as a piece of evidence against Smith.
Today’s hearing of the House Select Committee on Discipline will be broadcast live starting at 9:30 this morning, and I should have either the embed or a link to the video. So, make sure to check back.
* Meanwhile, there’s a link between former West Side Democratic state Sen. Rickey Hendon and the two Board of Review employees who were indicted yesterday, according to Mark Brown…
In the latest case, federal agents arrested two employees of Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers Jr. for taking bribes to fix property tax appeals. […]
The new arrests came on the heels of Tuesday’s roundup of seven individuals accused of paying kickbacks in exchange for government grants — most of them connected in some way to former state Sen. Rickey Hendon of Chicago.
The latest case also has Hendon connections. Former Hendon campaign treasurer Dean Nichols, an Oak Park accountant who was charged in the grant kickback scheme, is also alleged to have served as the go-between for the dirty cop and the bribe-taking tax appeals analysts. In addition, Hendon formerly worked at the Board of Review under Rogers. Neither of them could be reached for comment.