West Side elected leader in federal court today

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State Rep. Derrick Smith will be in court today in his federal bribery case.

It is expected that his lawyers will try to get key evidence thrown out and may move to have charges against the embattled elected leader dropped.

Last March Smith was arrested and charged with one count of bribery alleging he took $7,000 from a day care center owner in exchange for the owner getting a recommendation for a $50,000 state grant from Smith.

He was arrested on primary Election Day last year but still went on to win his 10th District race. He had initially been appointed to his post the year before.

In June 2012 the Illinois House Special Investigating Committee ruled that Smith had “abused” his position and the committee recommended he be disciplined. Two months lather the Illinois General Assembly voted 100-6 to expel him from office.

The expulsion didn’t kick him off the November ballot and even as he faced the corruption charge he handily won re-election. Last month he was sworn-in again as elected representative of the district. By law, the General Assembly cannot expel him again for this case.

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