The Illinois House has expelled former State Representative Derrick Smith. IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports.
It's the first time in over a century the Illinois House has voted to kick out one of its members. Smith, a Democrat who had represented the west side of Chicago, is charged with taking a 7 thousand dollar bribe in exchange for helping a daycare secure a state grant. Although he's fighting the charge in court, legislators say his removal is warranted as it is clear he crossed the line. House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says it's an action she doesn't take lightly.
"Using one's office for personal gain, not for the public good, is an affront to the core responsibilities of every legislator. To act in this way is to me a stunning violation of the oath of office each of us has promised to uphold. I can think of no greater breach of the public trust."
A handful of Representatives, who questioned the House's hasty ousting of Smith, stood by him. The final vote was 100 to six.
"The resolution is adopted and Representative Derrick Smith is hereby expelled from the House of Representatives."
Smith's name was immediately removed from the rolls, and erased from the electronic voting boards at the front of the House chamber.
But that may not be the end of Smith's political career. He's still on the ballot for November's election. A court conviction would make that moot. Felons are barred from serving in Illinois' General Assembly.
Those who voted against expulsion said they wanted to wait for a conviction. Smith says he will remain on the November ballot.
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