Among the newly sworn in lawmakers in the Illinois House Wednesday was Derrick Smith, who was expelled from the House last summer after he was indicted on a bribery charge, but was re-elected in November. Smith shared a stage at the University of Illinois at Springfield Auditorium with a chamber that voted to expel him.
Among them was State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who was on a special committee that gave the green light to expel Smith. But Lang says that was then and this is now. “He was re-elected to the House and according to our Constitution he deserves to be here,” said Lang.
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But State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), who sat on the same panel as Lang, wasn’t as forgiving. Durkin says he won’t work with Smith on any issues, period.
When Smith was asked if he felt nervous or anxious to return to the chamber that expelled him, he said it’s not about him but about the voters who re-elected him.
When Smith was expelled last year, he had been appointed to the seat to fill a vacancy. He has now been elected to the office.