With votes tight for keeping a 2011 tax increase in place, the attorney representing indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith has asked a federal judge to delay the start of his May 28th corruption trial by three days.
If a federal judge agrees to the request, House Speaker Michael Madigan stands to get valuable extra time, if he needs it, to round up the necessary votes to pass a tax-extension bill. The speaker is believed to be well short of the necessary 60 votes he needs to send the legislation to the Senate.
“We’re asking the judge if he can be there through the end of session,” defense lawyer Victor Henderson said of his client in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday. […]
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman is expected to decide on the motion during a hearing Wednesday morning.
Henderson stated in his motion that prosecutors have no position on the request.
In a motion filed last week, the West Side legislator asked U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman to again reset the trial for June 2 due to “significant pieces of legislation to be voted upon” in the House before the traditional end of the session by May 31.
“Representative Smith is required to attend in order to represent his district,” the motion stated.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said Monday that Smith “will vote yes” on the income tax hike vote. But Madigan has acknowledged he is still “significantly” short of the 60 votes necessary to pass the measure in the House. If Smith isn’t available to cast a vote in favor, Madigan said, “It will be one less vote.”
This is mostly snark, but why would you vote to raise your jury’s taxes right before you go on trial for alleged bribery?