The state representative accused of accepting a bribe may be staying in office because he needs the salary, according to his political sponsor. State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago, pictured) is facing prosecution, and a disciplinary hearing in the Illinois House that may result in his expulsion. Smith’s political patron, Secretary of State Jesse White, has asked Smith to resign, but to no avail.
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Monday, White speculated as to why Smith is staying in office. “I think his main concern is that he’s concerned about having employment,” White said. “I think he’ll probably step down tomorrow, or today, if he had a job, but the other question is, who would hire him?” White said he would not recommend Smith for any job. Smith was appointed to the office of state representative last year, to fill a vacancy. White, in his position as a Democratic committeeman in the district, was instrumental in picking Smith for the appointment. White maintains he was let down by Smith and was unaware of any problems, but critics will note that Smith was fired from a job with the City of Chicago over unspecified impropriety, a fact that was reported in the newspaper.
In last month’s primary, Smith won the Democratic nomination for the office. Democratic Party leaders are also trying to engineer Smith’s departure from the ballot.