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Indicted lawmaker a no-show at meeting

Thu, 26 Apr 2012 14:27:12 CDT
By: IPR's Amanda Vinicky

Indicted State Representative Derrick Smith was a no-show today at a meeting of a special House committee investigating his conduct.    But as IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports, legislators are requesting he make an appearance next time.



Legislators on the bipartisan investigative committee had asked the U.S. Attorney for more information about the circumstances leading to Smith's arrest. Smith's accused of taking a $7,000 bribe in exchange for writing a letter of recommendation for a preschool. Prosecutors refused, and said it could jeopardize the case if the committee investigated on its own, with one exception--legislators are free to interview Smith. The committee's sending a letter to Smith and his attorneys asking he come before it.
                                       
"We are dedicated to obtaining as much information as we possibly can before we come to a conclusion, and we owe that I think to the charge that's been given us, we owe this to the public and we certainly owe that to Representative Smith."

That's committee chair Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook. Otherwise, Nekritz says the committee members hands are "significantly tied" by the criminal proceedings.
The panel's waiting to set its next hearing until after Smith's arraignment on Monday.   He's expected to plead not guilty.

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