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Smith verdict riffs

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014

* Today’s Derrick Smith guilty verdicts were followed by press conferences from both sides. Rep. Smith…

Dude, I’m pretty sure that God saw you counting out $7k in “cheddar” and wasn’t amused.

Man, that’s so insulting.

Even political morons know they shouldn’t take cash. Only criminals take cash in this business. Period. And everybody understands this, for crying out loud. If you take cash, you deserve whatever you get.

* Smith again…

Well, good. I’m glad you did what you thought was right. Trust me, you will soon be “rewarded” for your behavior.

* A possible appeal?…

I don’t know about you, counselor, but I do know where your client is going…

* The prosecution…

Um, actually, y’all had a guy on your payroll who told you he could probably convince Smith to take a bribe. No evidence emerged that you knew beforehand that Smith had been taking bribes. So, perhaps the above quote should be changed to: “Public officials need to understand, if we have a paid informant who thinks he can convince a politician to take some cheddar, we’re going to pull out all the stops for three months to convince him to do it, by gosh.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Lobo Y Olla - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    ====No evidence emerged that you knew beforehand that Smith had been taking bribes.====

    Typically that kind of “prior bad act” evidence is inadmissable at trial. It doesn’t mean it does not exist. If there is evidence of the Rep. “reaching out for money,” it will be at the sentencing hearing.

  2. - Upon Further Review - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Former Jesse White protégé tumbles…

  3. - MOON - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    There is no doubt that Smith is guilty. However, in my opinion the Feds were as close to entrapment as one can get.

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    The feds played this dummy for three months before they boated him. What a waste of time and resources. He was a nobody, a non-violent nobody to boot.

    There are many, many scary and violent crooks making life dangerous and miserable on the West Side. smith wasn’t one of them.

    Maybe the feds can get their snitch to infiltrate a heroin ring and work his magic there.

    Or would that be too much like real law enforcement?

  5. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    He knew. Simply pandering to people that dont know taking money is bad.

  6. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    Yes, prior bad acts may be inadmissible but the point is that the feds would normally get involved after they find out the bad acts are occurring. In this case, it appears there were none but the informant was primed to get him accept the bribe. I have little sympathy for this jamoke but the sequence of events is a bit troubling. Maybe the “precrime” unit was involved.

  7. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Had Smith dropped the cash into the collection plate at church maybe God would’ve helped him out of this mess.

  8. - Bluefish - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    All he wanted was some cheddar. Now he’s stuck with prison velveeta.

  9. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    Maybe he’ll get some leniency for having such a low IQ. You have to lack something in the noggin if you are doing something this sloppily stupid.

  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    Wensicia -

    Had Smith deposited the cash in his campaign account, it would have been perfectly legal.

    Rich makes a strong point regarding entrapment, and we should all be troubled by the US Attorney actions. I suspect they invested so much time because they were hoping to bait the hook with Smith to catch a bigger fish. Epic fail.

    That said, their actions might be just this side of legal. Smith was reportedly fired for public misconduct, which the prosecutors would use to argue that Smith was predisposed to criminality.

  11. - Upon Further Review - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    But it was for the children! The bribe/donation was to support a daycare facility.

    Someone correct me, if I am wrong, but I believe that the trial judge barred the defense from raising “entrapment.”

    Smith was such an oaf. He is probably going to get a lengthy prison sentence for not pleading guilty months ago.

  12. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    He got trolled.
    But he took the bait.

    Not smart. Even for a legislator.

  13. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Look, I’m glad someone willing to take cash that way is going away. HOWEVER, it is ridiculous that the FBI wasted three months and who know’s how much money to convince someone to break the law. They shouldn’t be trying to lure people into breaking the law. They should be catching those that do so on their own accord. I’m sure someone’s getting a big promotion out of this, but it is seriously banana state for the feds to pull this crap.

  14. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    ==I believe that the trial judge barred the defense from raising “entrapment.”==

    Yes she did.

    Smith’s attorneys have been barred by U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman from arguing that Smith was entrapped

  15. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    ===So, perhaps the above quote should be changed to: “Public officials need to understand, if we have a paid informant who thinks he can convince a politician to take some cheddar, we’re going to pull out all the stops for three months to convince him to do it, by gosh.”===

    That’s a little harsh in my view. Accurate maybe, but harsh nonetheless. I thought it was common knowledge that federal agents were looking all over the west side for evidence of political corruption. I don’t think we know the full story yet. Heck, we don’t even know Pete’s real name, which if it’s ever released, would be fun to enter into the Illinois Board of Elections database to see what pops up.

    And who knows who else is talking to the feds? There is no honor among thieves. I think it’s too soon to jump on the feds for spending too much effort to pick low-hanging fruit. Smith was like a dolphin caught in the tuna nets. Not what they were fishing for, but ended up in the boat anyway.

  16. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    –Heck, we don’t even know Pete’s real name, which if it’s ever released…–

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve covered a lot of trials, and I can’t quite figure why the defense didn’t call Pete to the stand.

    By not copping a plea and going to trial, Smith was throwing a Hail Mary anyway, given the tapes, the cash, etc.

    Why wouldn’t the defense want to sweat Sneaky Pete on the stand, dirty up the feds’ case to the jury? What did they have to lose?

  17. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 3:56 pm:


  18. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===And who knows who else is talking to the feds? ===

    They pretty much wrapped up their West Side fishing expedition not long after Fitz left.

    The object, in my own opinion, appeared to be Rickey. The last couple of little fishes caught in the net were Hendon guys. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they looked at La Shawn Ford. Hollywood backed Ford in his first primary race against an incumbent.

    Smith was not a Hendon guy, but I’d bet a dollar that the mole is somehow close.

  19. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:12 pm:

    Did you ever wonder if Rickey maybe had some detailed conversations with the feds since he’s been retired?

  20. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    ===Did you ever wonder if Rickey maybe had some detailed conversations===

    Sure. But it’s been a while now and the West Side has been pretty quiet.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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