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Illinois state representative convicted of bribery

Derrick Smith, courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times via YouTubeAn Illinois state representative was found guilty by a federal jury Tuesday for taking a $7,000 payment to support a state grant for a day-care center.

Derrick Smith, a Chicago Democrat, was charged following an FBI undercover investigation.

He also was found guilty of attempted extortion, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago said.

The FBI used a confidential informant identified as “Pete” who worked on Smith’s political campaigns. He talked to Smith about helping a fictional day-care owner obtain a purported state grant in exchange for a cash payment.

In March 2012, Smith provided Pete with an official letter of support for the daycare owner to obtain a $50,000 Early Childhood Construction Grant from the state’s Capital Development Board.

In return, during a recorded meeting Pete gave Smith $7,000 in cash, supposedly from the fictional day-care owner. Smith didn’t report the cash on his Illinois campaign finance reports.

He was expelled by the Illinois House in 2012 after being charged with taking the bribe. Without a conviction, he was allowed to run again and won his seat back the same year. He then lost the Democratic primary in March 2013.

Smith now faces up to 10 years in prison on the bribery count.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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