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Tom Cross picks Republicans for Derrick Smith sanction panel

State Rep. Derrick Smith leaves Federal Building after his arraignment March 13. | TOM CRUZE~Sun-Times

State Rep. Derrick Smith leaves the Federal Building after his arraignment March 13. | TOM CRUZE~Sun-Times

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Updated: June 28, 2012 8:51AM

SPRINGFIELD — House Minority Leader Tom Cross Wednesday named a slate of six Republicans to serve on a bi-partisan panel that will hear charges and possibly recommend sanctions against indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith.

The ranking Republican to serve on the newly-formed, 12-member House Select Committee on Discipline is Rep. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet), who chairs the Legislative Ethics Commission.

Rose will be joined by Reps. Michael Connelly (R-Lisle), Renee Kosel (R-New Lenox), Sidney Mathias (R-Buffalo Grove), Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) and Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford).

So far, it is unclear when the committee, chaired by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), will meet, but House rules require that it be sometime before July 6.

Besides Currie, Democratic members already named to the committee include Reps. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago); Greg Harris (D-Chicago); Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields); Camille Lilly (D-Chicago), and Kim du Buclet (D-Chicago).

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) have been appointed to appear before the panel and make the case for disciplinary action against Smith (D-Chicago), which could include expulsion from the House.

Seven of the committee’s 12 members would have to vote for sanctions against Smith for his case to move to the full House, which must approve disciplinary action by a two-thirds majority.

Snared in an undercover FBI sting, Smith faces a federal bribery charge for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe in exchange for writing a letter of support on behalf of a purported daycare center operator seeking a $50,000 state grant.

Smith had been charged in a criminal complaint and was arrested March 13, a week before winning his primary with 77 percent of the vote.

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