An ousted state representative says he will run for the Illinois General Assembly despite being kicked out Friday by his House colleagues.
In a short statement given at his lawyers’ office in Chicago, ex-State Rep. Derrick Smith says because of an outpouring of support, he will continue to campaign and will remain on the ballot for the November election. “I must thank my family, who believes in me, so because of their support I intend to remain on the ballot and run for office in November,” Smith said before leaving the room and letting his attorneys field questions.
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Because of the ongoing criminal proceedings against Smith, there was little evidence for the House to consider. Smith’s attorneys call Friday’s proceedings a “sham” and say legislators expelled Smith on allegations, not fact. Attorney Victor Henderson says it was a political move. “This plain and simple was an opportunity for the people down in Springfield to snatch the seat,” Henderson said.
In an argument familiar to what went on in the trial of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, attorney Sam Adam Jr. says he demanded the release of the undercover audio tapes on which the FBI alleges Smith accepted a $7,000 cash bribe in exchange for help in securing a state grant for a day care operator. “We’re ready for you to hear it now, we filed motions trying to get you to be able to hear it,” Adam said. “There are explanations for everything that you will, and most important, what you won’t hear on those tapes.”