Rep. Smith: Expelled, Elected and Back at Work

Five months after the Illinois House expelled Rep. Derrick Smith over federal bribery charges, he’s stepping back into his duties as a lawmaker. Brian Mackey has more.

Lawmakers learned of their committee assignments this week.
Smith will be serving on six of them, including two that deal directly with issues regarding law enforcement: the budget committee on public safety, and the Special Committee on Public Safety: Police and Fire.

This is at the same time Smith is fighting federal charges that he took a $7,000 bribe for agreeing to help a daycare secure a state grant.

House Democratic spokesman Steve Brown says after winning his seat back last November, Smith is a full member of the Democratic caucus.

“He’s an elected member, so he’s — period.”

Smith is also serving as vice-chairman of the Human Services Committee. In Illinois, the Department of Human Services contracts with child-care providers on behalf of low-income families.*

Brown denied there was anything ironic about Smith being assigned to help to oversee an area of government that’s related to his federal bribery charges.

BROWN: “I’ve not heard any irony discussed.”

— Brian Mackey

Correction, Feb. 1, 2013: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the role of the Department of Human Services in relation to child care. Return to the corrected sentence.

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