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Rep. Derrick Smith to enter not guilty plea today

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 03:51:08 CDT
By: IPR's Sam Hudzik

Illinois state Representative Derrick Smith will plead "Not Guilty" today to a federal bribery charge. That's according to an attorney for the Chicago Democrat. IPR's Sam Hudzik reports.

Prosecutors say Smith took a 7-thousand dollar bribe in exchange for writing a letter of support for a day care center he believed was looking for a state grant. What Smith didn't know was the feds set it up. Vic Henderson is Smith's attorney, and he's strongly hinting he'll argue the government entrapped his client.

"They manufactured documents, created fictitious website venues and things of that nature."

Separate from the criminal proceedings, an Illinois House special investigating committee is looking into the allegations...a process that could end in Smith's expulsion.

"He's going to continue to serve as he was elected to do, and we're going to defend him and business will go on as usual."

Smith has yet to appear at meetings of the investigating committee. But he will have to show up at today's federal court hearing in Chicago to enter that not guilty plea.

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