The powerful Speaker of the Illinois House, and Chairman of the state's Democratic Party, is staying mum about indicted State Representative Derrick Smith. Despite being charged by the FBI a week earlier Smith easily defeated his opponent in Tuesday's primary. He grabbed 77 percent of the vote in the 10th district, which covers the west side of Chicago. His easy win was propped up by an 18 thousand-dollar-plus contribution from a campaign fund controlled by House Speaker Mike Madigan. Since the election, top Democrats including the governor, Chicago mayor, and even Smith's mentor and former boss, Secretary of State Jesse White, have called on Smith to resign, but not Madigan, who says he hasn't talked to Smith since his arrest earlier this month:
"No, I have not spoken with Derrick and I'm not going to offer any comments or opinion because I'm leading the investigation. I'm the one who created the committee, appointed the chair and so I don't plan to offer any comment or opinion or direction."
Madigan's talking about a special committee, formed at the request of House Republicans, that will meet tomorrow to look into the allegations. The House could expel Smith unless he gives into pressure and steps down.
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