Illinois House Expels Representative Derrick Smith

By The Associated Press
August 17, 2012

For the first time in more than a century the Illinois House has expelled one of its members.

Lawmakers voted 100-6 on Friday to expel Chicago Democratic state Rep. Derrick Smith.  

Federal prosecutors have charged the 48-year-old Smith with accepting a $7,000 bribe in exchange for his official support on what he thought was a day care operation's state grant request. He has pleaded not guilty. A trial date has not been set.

After the vote, House Speaker Mike Madigan asked the clerk to remove Smith from the House's roll.

"Sometimes, actions are so egregious, so contrary to the core values of each of us in this institution, that we must act and we must act now," said Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie.

But Smith remains on the November ballot and could be re-elected to his post.

The House has only considered expulsion of one of its members twice in the past century and hasn't tossed one out since 1905.

UPDATE:  Smith says he's saddened members of the Illinois House voted to remove him from office.

Smith told reporters gathered at his attorney's Chicago office on Friday afternoon that his former colleagues didn't "wait to hear all the evidence.''

Smith says he looks forward to his day in court so he can clear his name. He gave a brief statement but not take questions.

Smith's attorney, Vic Henderson, called the proceedings in Springfield a ``sham.'' Henderson says he advised Smith not to attend the vote because they didn't want to ``dignify'' the proceedings.

Story source: AP