Indicted state rep wants informant and FBI agent to testify at his disciplinary hearing
By ABDON M. PALLASCH Political Reporter email@example.com July 9, 2012 5:52PM
Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago). FILE PHOTO. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith wants to call as witnesses the confidential informant who allegedly taped him and the FBI agent who arrested him.
This is for the West Side Democrat’s hearing before the state House Select Committee on Discipline, not his criminal trial. The House committee could take any action from a reprimand to expelling him from the state Legislature.
Smith is accused of taking a $7,000 bribe from the confidential informant in exchange for introducing a bill to help a childcare provider.
Smith also wants to introduce the confidential informant’s rap sheet into the hearing, which is scheduled for July 19, though Smith has asked for a postponement.
Smith’s fellow Democrats campaigned to get him elected in the March primary with the understanding that he would then step down and they could appoint a replacement. But after winning his primary election, Smith announced he would not be vacating his seat or his spot on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Democrats have settled on Lance Tyson to run as a third-party candidate in the race. Republican Kimberly Small is also on the ballot though her petitions have been challenged.
The House could expel Smith and then he could be win the Nov. 6 election and take his seat right back.
State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Westchester) noted that the U.S. Attorney’s office has already declined to provide some of the information the committee sought, saying it would interfere with the ongoing investigation and prosecution of Smith. If putting the confidential informant and the FBI agent on the stand at the hearing would interfere with the ongoing case, Durkin expects the response from the U.S. Attorney’s office will be the same.
“I don’t believe there is subpoena power for the committee to compel their presence,” Durkin said.