The Illinois House of Representatives has announced it will convene for one day next month to considering whether to expel one of their own. One day after a special House committee recommended Representative Derrick Smith lose his seat, Speaker Michael Madigan told members to be in Springfield August 17. Smith has been indicted on federal bribery charges. The Chicago Democrat is accused of taking a $7,000 bribe in exchange for helping an FBI informant posing as the owner of a daycare center get a grant. Smith has denied the allegations and rejected calls to resign. But as House Democratic spokesman Steve Brown says, a bipartisan panel of representatives considered the evidence and:
"... voted to recommend to the full house that he be expelled. That report will be filed with the House and will be taken up on the 17th."
The House could also take up prisons, pensions, or other issues. Brown would only say it's up to the members. There's one potential wrinkle, Smith remains on the November election ballot. He already won his primary AFTER being arrested.
If he wins this fall, he'll be re-seated in January. The Illinois Constitution says.. "a member may be expelled only once for the same offense."
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