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Derrick Smith lawyer calls witness career criminal

Mon, 11 Feb 2013 04:27:15 CST
By: IPR's Tony Arnold

Derrick Smith lawyer calls witness career criminal The bribery case of an Illinois lawmaker may take a rare step this week. Attorneys are scheduled to debate whether federal authorities lied about the background of a key witness.
IPR's Tony Arnold reports:


Federal prosecutors say they have Illinois State Representative Derrick Smith on tape saying he wants a 7-thousand dollar bribe in cash - so there would be no trace of it. Victor Henderson is Smith's defense attorney. Henderson says federal authorities didn't disclose the criminal history of the person who secretly recorded Smith, and the charges may not have ever come against Smith in the first place - if investigators had been up front about the witness's 20 prior arrests:
"It makes a big difference when you're starting a case out whether you have a nun who's at the center of it or a confidential informant who's got a criminal history thatís 40 pages long.
The witness has not been named publicly, but Henderson is calling for the witness and federal agents to testify. He wants the case thrown out.

Prosecutors say the hearing isn't necessary - and the witness's background doesn't change what Smith said on tape.

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