SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
The jury got it right

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014

* After Rep. Derrick Smith’s guilty verdict was announced yesterday, a juror told the Tribune that the federal mole was “a slippery and disgusting character” and said the FBI’s investigation was “somewhat sleazy.” More from what the juror said

Jason Carter, 29, said the jury’s reservations included the FBI’s use of an undercover informant and two-time felon – a man identified at trial only as “Pete” — who repeatedly pushed the West Side legislator on a plan to extort a day care operator who needed a letter of support for a state grant. The scheme was a ruse concocted by federal agents.

“It didn’t feel right to us,” Carter said. “It’s not like he went to a day care and shook them down. He went to an FBI day care…but that was not to be considered by us.”

But

Finally, after four hours of sometimes-heated deliberations, the jury was able to use the judge’s legal instructions to come to a unanimous verdict on each count of bribery and extortion, Carter said. […]

For a time, the jury’s foreman – not Carter — was strongly opposed to convicting Smith. But in the end, it was Smith who convicted himself with his own words, caught on undercover recordings talking about “cheddar” and “seven stacks” of cash and insisting on hiding any paper trail of the kickback, according to Carter.

“He never said, ‘Hey, listen Pete, I do these letters all the time and they are to help my constituents, not for my own personal gain,’” Carter said.

That’s exactly right. Smith deserved what he got, even if the feds went overboard on this thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - Been There - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    ===That’s exactly right. Smith deserved what he got, even if the feds went overboard on this thing. ===
    While I agree Smith deserved what he got, sometimes (or maybe all the time) the feds have to be held in check. That could mean that the bad guy gets off. Just look at how we now have the Miranda warning.


  2. - CirularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    But it was real handy for the G to have a previously unsuccessful snitch on the payroll for four years looking to make suggestions


  3. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    Smith convicted himself. He went down that illegal path. My pre-schoolers would recognize that you don’t do what Smith did. What the FBI mole did was pave the way to hell. Smith fired up his engine and drove right down into it, knowing full well that it was wrong.


  4. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer…except if they’re named Pete.


  5. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    If the after effect is to put would be bribe takers on alert for a possible sting by the feds, this was worth it. Smith was guilty, and that’s no scam.


  6. - Roamin' Numeral - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    Taxpayer dollars well spent.


  7. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Besides, if what the FBI did here is a concern to you - what the heck do you think is happening with the NSA taking everything you say or do online and recording it?

    Everyone has a record now. Thanks to what is passing as law enforcement, the government doesn’t need to wait for you to commit a crime anymore. All you have to do is contribute to a minority political cause and you can get your life completely shanked - even years later.

    At least Smith took money before he got convicted. There have been more than a few cases recently when we’ve seen folks lose it all even when they didn’t commit a crime.


  8. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Smith should have been convicted on stupidity alone. A $7,000 bribe from a day care center for a letter to help secure a $50,000 grant? How could anyone hear that and think, “Yes. I think this offer is legitimate, and I will accept this money.”?


  9. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    This whole things just stinks. The FBI needs to be held in check, but jeez, just how dumb and how Craven was Smith. It’s real simple folks. If someone approaches you with a dirty deal, be like Nancy Reagan. Just say no.


  10. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    We can all agree that this was not the most cost effective prosecution, but the government needed to go to whole nine yards because Smith refused to accept reality and seek to plea bargain. He gambled on turning one juror and struck out.


  11. - x ace - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Appears Jury considered and argued about the right issues and their deliberation resulted in a Guilty Verdict. Whether we bystanders think Smith was Guilty or Not , the System Worked as designed.


  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    The judge ran a tight trial and issued narrow instructions. Juries can do what they want, but they didn’t have a choice once they decided to follow the instructions to the letter.

    Still a waste of time and resources. Send Sneaky Pete to Austin to make some street heroin buys if he wishes to continue his fight for justice.


  13. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    The defense attorney’s comment after the verdict was ridiculous….yes, he took the money, but….. Stupid, illegal behavior.


  14. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Good for this jury and this juror. They narrowed the focus to the facts like they are supposed to. I’m glad there was some thoughtful debate. Could have been a circus, and instead we got a model of good justice.


  15. - D.P.Gumby - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    Fed’s have better things to do than go out and make up crimes even if they do get convictions.


  16. - LizPhairTax - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Big deal. They caught a dummy being dumb. As YDD pointed out yesterday, if he’d only asked for a check and reported it the exact same transaction would’ve been legal. Derrick didn’t even get home improvements like others have. Just dumb.


  17. - Jack Handy - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    What criteria did Smith meet for the Feds to say, “Let’s see if this guy will take a bribe”.


  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    –What criteria did Smith meet for the Feds to say, “Let’s see if this guy will take a bribe”.–

    A fed snitch already on the payroll.


  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    @Handy -

    Two things:

    1. Links to bigger fish.
    2. Record of misuse of public resources and proven ability to get caught.

    The second is important, as I noted yesterday, because it more or less takes the entrapment defense off the table.

    Law enforcement isn’t supposed to set traps to snare the otherwise innocent, but snaring unwary folks with a record of misbehaving is okay.


  20. - Anon - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    The fact that Rep. Smith did wrong does not make the federal fishing expedition right.

    It appears as if the federal goal was to lure someone they had no reason to believe is committing a given crime into doing so. I’m sure all of those who condemn Smith would easily resist repeated blandishments from a mole to do wrong. Suppose the temptation isn’t a bribe, however, but to, say, patronize a prostitute? Or buy firecrackers? Or to drive after drinking too much? Does that fact that some mere mortals will eventually succumb to temptation justify the Feds tempting us?


  21. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Anon -

    I suspect worse: that the Missing Tapes included Smith expressing strong reservations, perhaps even suggesting that if they want to write a check for $7K it should go to the campaign….

    ….having said all of that, Smith did have a prior for misuse of public resources, so he was fair game.


  22. - Mokenavince - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Another sleazy politician bites the dust. Who’s next?


  23. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    ==Another sleazy politician bites the dust. Who’s next?==

    After this minnow, maybe they’ll move onto a common carp. Another big catch!


  24. - Just Me - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 8:55 pm:

    I have to think the Feds suspected he was taking bribes elsewhere but needed hard proof for a conviction so they created the situation. Why else would they choose this empty suit to pick on?


  25. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 11, 14 @ 10:46 pm:

    –Why else would they choose this empty suit to pick on?–

    Their snitch was already working for Smith.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Rauner oppo watch
* Zorn nails it again
* *** UPDATED x1 *** If at first you don't succeed...
* Lower ratings for ABC 7 debate
* Question of the day
* Bloomberg to spend $1.9 million on Dold
* Stand down... mostly
* BLS: A strong couple of months
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraising reports by targeted legislative districts
* Rate Sheila Simon's new TV ad
* Poe set to begin transplant process, faces "extended" recovery
* Rauner runs new TV ad touting newspaper endorsements
* *** UPDATED x2 - "Comical" - "No interest" *** Despite shout-outs, Neely says she and Rauner haven't talked
* Grimm on 150 - Minimum wage battles in other states - The return of "Matt the Welder" - Rauner on "right to work"
* A bevy of new congressional TV ads
* Quinn tax hike dodge count: 4
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Crosstabs, cable TV buys, ads
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Today's number: 165
* A grand good morning to you all!
* 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

          
        * Moto 360 wireless charging dock now available on Google Play
        * Verizon HTC One M8 will likely get EYE Experience update tomorrow
        * Android 4.4W.2 update starts rolling out to Moto 360 and more, brings many enhancements
        * Apple breaks records, Nexus Ambient Display, Microsoft Lumia & more – Pocketnow Daily
        * HERE beta version now available for other Android devices
        * HTC EYE update rolls out for T-Mobile One M8, Verizon tomorrow
        * iPad Air 2 Review: The Best Tablet Available, Now More Portable And Powerful

        * Penball Erasers Let You Have an Impromptu Game of Foosball
        * Apple Pay Found To Be Usable In Overseas With Some Tweaking
        * Apple Pay Rewards Program To Launch This Holiday Season [Rumor]
        * Maps Connect Web Portal Helps To Make Apple Maps More Accurate
        * Oppo N3 Teased Again On Facebook, Shows Off Fingerprint Scanner
        * Onyx Smartwatch Will Use An E-Ink Display For Better Battery Life
        * iPad Air 2′s A8X Chip Found To Be Of The Triple-Core Variety

        * World Series Game 1: Notes and discussion
        * The e-gus off-season plan
        * Reading Room: A wild card of a World Series
        * Following same path as '59 White Sox, KC eyes title
        * larry's Offseason Plan
        * Abreu wins Sporting News' AL Rookie of the Year honors
        * Jose Abreau wins the Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year


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

        Archives
        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


        * Chicago 'Street Team' has your back..
        * Former President Clinton campaigns for Gov. Quinn..
        * Sick passengers from Liberia arrive at O'Hare -.....
        * Fans flock to Wrigley Field to see historic tea.....
        * Joliet adopts ‘Cupcake Law’..
        * Former President Clinton stumps for Quinn, Durbin..
        * Early voting signals beginning of end for elect.....
        * Sick passengers from Liberia arrive at O'Hare..
        * Study finds drugs still in recalled supplements..
        * Naperville police seeking man who met up with 1.....


        * Family, friends remember women slain in Indiana
        * Indiana man was violent long before 7 killings
        * Family, friends remember women slain in Indiana
        * Indiana man was violent long before 7 killings
        * Police: Indiana man confesses to all 7 killings
        * Expert: PTSD could be factor in activist's past
        * Former President Clinton stumps for Quinn, Durbin
        * Ballot error stops early voting in Rockford again
        * Ebola causing spike in demand for hospital gear
        * State: Jimmy John's founder owes taxes on planes

        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears
        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Sun-Times, Belleville, Champaign, Peoria newspapers endorse Rauner for governor
        * Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally
        * Body camera use concerns Illinois police officers

        * What's next for Tribune, Sun-Times in burb paper deal
        * Chicago heating bills will be significantly lower (if winter cooperates)
        * Chicago heating bills will be far lower (if winter cooperates)
        * Walgreen seeks to seal parts of former CFO's lawsuit
        * Big-biz group a big Mike Madigan donor


        * Sparse crowd at CPS HQ before Board of Ed vote on Hancock school
        * Indiana officials identify fourth body found after arrest of suspected serial killer
        * Jail guard smuggled weed in sandwiches, feds say
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85
        * Back to the past with mayor’s move
        * Court officials suggest ISIS wannabe could be released from jail on bond
        * Tentative deal at U of I hospital averts threatened nurses’ strike, union says
        * Unemployment rates fall in 31 states, including Illinois
        * Dr. Lawrence Solomon: Renowned dermatologist, book collector loved a mystery
        * Emanuel’s cable tax hike to cost average consumer $28.80 a year


        * Two injured in Warrenville car crash
        * Public weighs in on Museum Campus plan
        * Waukegan schools remain closed Wednesday
        * 2 from Liberia screened for Ebola in Chicago after falling ill
        * At least 5 people wounded in shootings since Tuesday evening
        * Man dies 5 months after Southwest Side shooting
        * Naperville police ask for help locating "person of interest"
        * Inquiry broadens into suspect in Indiana serial killings
        * Emanuel set to outline re-election agenda with five speeches
        * Cook County Jail guard, inmates charged in drug smuggling


        * Business Report: Former Restaurant Near Statehouse Up For Auction; Downtown Springfield Inc. Update
        * 13th Dist. Candidates Talk NAFTA, Ebola During Springfield Debate
        * Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series To Focus On "Lincoln's Funeral"
        * Small Campaign Contributions Amount To Chump Change
        * Civic Fed: Lawmakers Once Again Taking Illinois Down Bad Budget Path
        * Cheddar's Leaves Springfield WUIS-SJR Business Report
        * Area Cub Scouts Burned In Explosion
        * Notes On The Final Governor Debate
        * Task Force Hopes To Help Turn Students Into Good Citizens
        * Digging up the history of a Civil War camp on Chicago's South Side


        * Our Opinion: Choice for Illinois comptroller comes down to experience
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Joanna McQuillan Weeks: Cheese balls deserve more respect
        * Our Opinion: White, Madigan for another term
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Our Opinion: Say yes to Magro’s project
        * John Schick: Letter confirmed aggression toward bicyclists
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears


        * Week after 6-year low, gas price relief evaporates
        * Mount Zion rebrands for updated outlook
        * Promoters ink three-year deal for Street Machine Nationals
        * Candidate visits depot on home stretch to election
        *
        * Fishing holes in Southern Illinois? Not a problem
        * Callis, Davis weigh in on Ebola, other matters
        * Volleyball team eyes lofty goals
        * Golf team finishes fourth
        * Abrams preps for surgery


        * Girls swimming: Tuesday's results
        * Girls volleyball: Tuesday's results
        * Boys soccer: Tuesday's results
        * Schaumburg turns back Glenbard North
        * CCIW lead on the line

        * 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...

        * Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Rauner campai......
        * Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Rauner campai......
        * Topic matches for political scandals...
        * Topic matches for political scandals...
        * Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Rauner campai......

        * Suspected Serial Killer Used Online Advert......
        * Obama Might Try To Circumvent Congress On ......
        * Congress Can Stop Obama’s Iran Appeasement......
        * Report: Obama Looking to Suspend Iran Sanc......
        * Former FAA security chief: More screening ......

        * Rauner’s Neely talk not as first seems
        * Because it was awesome.
        * Waukegan’s school board president speaks. Crazy talk.
        * New Bost ad hits Illinois 12th Congressional District [video]
        * Batinick says Dunn's desperate campaign charges are "ridiculous"
        * Topinka says reducing income tax would cause a heart attack to the state
        * Early Voting Halted in Winnebago County, Illinois Due to Ballot Mistake
        * Illinois Supreme Court Candidate Exposes Members of Shadowy Political Group
        * Illinois Supreme Court Candidate Under Attack by Shadowy Political Group
        * Bustos and Illinois Dems attempt to paint Schilling as "pro-rape"


        * New TV Ad: Endorsed
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Positive Economic News - Illinois Led the Midwest in Job Creation in September and Had Second Best Growth in Nation; Unemployment Rate Has Dropped More Than Any Other State in the Last Year
        * Rauner Campaign Statement on Final Debate
        * What They’re Saying About Pat Quinn
        * What They’re Saying About Bruce Rauner




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