Friday, July 11, 2014

DERRICK SMITH convicted for corruption

FBI CHICAGO—Illinois State Representative DERRICK SMITH (10th District) was convicted today on federal corruption charges for accepting a $7,000 cash bribe in March 2012 to write an official letter of support for a daycare center that he believed was seeking a state grant as part of an undercover investigation. Smith was found guilty by a jury that began deliberating Monday afternoon following a trial that began on May 28.
Smith, 50, of Chicago, was convicted on one count each of bribery and attempted extortion. No sentencing date was immediately set. A status hearing was set for September 23 before U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman. Bribery carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and attempted extortion carries a maximum of 20 years, and both counts carry a $250,000 maximum fine. The court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
According to the evidence at trial, a confidential source identified as “Pete,” who worked on Smith’s political campaigns, and who, unbeknownst to Smith, was cooperating with the FBI, had numerous conversations with Smith about helping a fictional daycare owner obtain a purported state grant in exchange for a cash bribe. On March 2, 2012, Smith provided Pete with an official letter of support for the daycare owner to obtain a $50,000 Early Childhood Construction Grant from the state’s Capital Development Board. In return, during a recorded meeting on March 10, 2012, Pete gave Smith $7,000 cash, purportedly from the fictional daycare owner.