Derrick Smith’s (pictured) time in the Illinois General Assembly is over, for now. His fellow House members Friday expelled him on a vote of 100-6, with three voting present. Smith stands accused of agreeing to take a $7,000 bribe to write a letter of recommendation for a grant for a day care center. The expulsion proceedings, following two committee recommendations, took not quite an hour and a half on this special session day, one which is also supposed to deal with state pension systems.
Smith’s name was immediately removed from the electronic tote boards in the House. A few members questioned whether this is the right thing to do – to hold Smith’s silence against him, to throw him out before he could be elected or before he could go through the criminal process. But those in favor, including State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), said “beyond a reasonable doubt” isn’t the standard here. Opponents, including Reps. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) and Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), said perhaps it should be. Lang, though, said Smith has “thumbed his nose at the Constitution.”
Smith was not in attendance. He is present on the election ballot in November. He was appointed to the post to fill a vacancy in 2011, and so had never been elected to the seat. H.R. 1191 has passed the House, 100-6-3.
Voting no: State Reps. Monique Davis (D-Chicago}, Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights), Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan), Arthur Turner (D-Chicago), Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood). Voting present:, State Reps. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago), Chuck Jefferson (D-Rockford), Andre Thapedi (D-Chicago).