Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Another Illinois Lawmaker Found Guilty Of Bribery
A federal district court jury in Chicago where there are federal prosecutors who attempt to keep the politicians honest unlike Indiana found State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) guilty of two counts of bribery. An undercover informant working for the FBI who also served as a campaign aide to Smith convinced him with a bit of cajoling to accept $7,000 in cash that he described as "cheddar" in exchange for writing a letter of support to help a day care operator in his district win a $50,000 state grant. The informant caught the money exchange on tape. The FBI said it targeted Smith after it received information that he was hard-pressed for money and was willing to perform legislative favors in exchange for it. Voters in his overwhelmingly Democratic district re-elected him in 2012 after learning of the investigation of Smith; however, he didn't fare as well in the Democratic primary this year when he lost his bid for re-election. "God knows the truth about it all. The jury just didn't see what God saw," Smith told reporters after the verdict. Another Illinois lawmaker, State Rep. Keith Farnham (D-Elgin), abruptly resigned recently before federal prosecutors charged him with possessing and distributing child pornography using his state-issued computer. Farnham entered a not guilty plea in that case last week.