Yesterday another Illinois politician goes down for corruption:
Just one week before Election Day, State Rep. Derrick Smith was arrested by federal agents Tuesday and charged with bribery for allegedly accepting $7,000 in cash for supporting a $50,000 state grant he believed a day care center was seeking.I got the article above from a round-up of stores over at the Capitol Fax and also read about the arrest here. If you read that whole Sun-Times article you will see that that state legislative race is a huge mess. A majority Black district with a white opponent in the Democratic primary who used to be involved with the Cook County Republican Party.
Smith, who was appointed to his seat last year, did not realize he was dealing with an under-cover informant when he had conversations about arranging the grant and the bribe, according to the criminal complaint.
Smith, a Democrat who represents the 10th District on the West and Northwest sides, was charged with one count of accepting a bribe. The 48-year-old appeared in court this afternoon and was scheduled to be released on a $4,500 personal bond.
Smith is a protege and former precinct captain of Secretary of State Jesse White and childhood friend of Ald. Walter Burnett. The 27th Ward alderman once described Smith as “like a brother to me.”
Smith was appointed to the House seat last year after Annazette Collins was appointed to the state Senate. He is now locked in a primary battle with Tom Swiss, a former director of the Cook County Republican Party who is running as a Democrat in the overwhelmingly Democratic and majority African American district.
Oh and I also thought about the situation over there. So Smith was appointed last year to replace Annazette Collins who moved up to the state Senate. And Sen. Collins has her own issues as Jesse White removed her support to former Mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins - if you recall last year she was derided as a crack addict by Carol Mosely Braun - and possibly one reason for White's reversal on Collins was because she couldn't prove she resided in that state Senate district.
It's a mess!