Accepting a $7,000 bribe lands a former state lawmaker in prison. Former State Rep. Derrick Smith was facing up to five years in prison, but instead was sentenced today (Thursday) in federal court in Chicago to five months for bribery and extortion. Failing in his attempt to avoid prison time altogether, Smith had little to say afterwards.
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“I want to thank God, thank the constituents of the 10th district, and individuals, my family and friends,” Smith said. “God bless you, and it’s about rebuilding right now. Smith will begin serving his sentence at the end of July. His sentence includes a year of supervision and 360 hours of community service. He was convicted last year of accepting $7,000 in exchange for supporting a daycare operator’s application for a state grant. In reality, the plan was set up by the FBI, and Smith was recorded counting the 70 $100 bills given to him by an informant. Smith, who was appointed to a vacant House seat in 2011, was expelled after being indicted in 2012, but then won the seat back in a general election several months later. His conviction last year expelled him again, this time permanently.