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Panel finds evidence to punish indicted lawmaker

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 13:41:37 CDT
By: AP

A legislative committee says there's enough evidence for the Illinois House to punish state Rep. Derrick Smith, who's facing a federal indictment that accuses him of accepting a $7,000 bribe. The committee that investigated the Chicago Democrat released its recommendation Wednesday. The panel's only task determining if there's ``reasonable grounds'' to pursue disciplinary action again Smith. Another committee will choose whether to reprimand, censure or expel Smith or to take no action. Smith is accused of taking the bribe for backing a grant application on behalf of a day care center that turned out to be fictitious. Authorities say it was an FBI sting with an undercover informant. Smith has pleaded not guilty and vowed to fight the charges. If convicted, he faces a maximum 10-year prison term.

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