Embattled state ex-Rep. Derrick Smith was booted from office this summer by his Ill. General Assembly colleagues.
With 72 percent of the vote counted, Smith was winning 62 percent to 38 percent.
But on Tuesday, voters had their say as they elected him back to his post representing them in the10th District on Chicago’s West Side.
Smith was arrested on March 13, 2012 and charged in a federal case of one count of bribery for allegedly accepting $7,000 from a day care owner to write the owner a letter of recommendation as part of the owner’s $50,000 state grant application. The FBI recorded conversations Smith had with the day care owner, according to documents in the case. Smith has pleaded not guilty.
Tuesday night he gave his victory speech from his Election Night perch on the West Side — even as he awaits his trial on the corruption charges.
In June the Illinois House Special Investigating Committee (SIC) said that Smith “abused” his powers. Then in August, Smith’s colleagues in the Ill. General Assembly voted 100-6 to boot him from office which was the first time that had happened in the state Legislature since 1905.
Derrick was arrested on the same day as the 2012 Election Day primary but was still elected as the Democratic nominee for state representative of the district. However, the expulsion did not kick him off the ballot. By law, even though he was voted out of office by House members, Tuesday victory puts him right back in.
Smith was appointed to his position in 2011 after Anazette Collins left the House for the Illinois Senate. He had been the choice of the Illinois Democratic Committee headed by Ill. Secretary of State Jesse White.
In January Smith will once again be sworn in as 10th District state representative and will sit alongside House members who voted to expel him.
Democratic State Rep. Mary Flowers (Dist. – 31st) was one of six to vote against expelling Smith.
“I stand for the Constitution. The Constitution says every man has a right to confront his accusers so until Mr. Smith gets his court date, he won’t have the opportunity to confront his accusers,” Flowers said.
By Rhonda Gillespie