Ward Room
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Illinois House Votes 100-6 to Expel Rep. Derrick Smith

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Carol Marin reports on an historic day in Springfield, where the legislature voted to oust a member for the first time in 100 years.

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The Illinois House on Friday voted 100-6 to expel indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago), the first time the House has expelled a member in more than 100 years.

Smith, a West Side Democrat, was indicted earlier this year and charged with accepting a $7,000 bribe in an FBI sting. He entered a plea of not guilty, and a select panel of House members voted this summer to recommend Smith be expelled from the House.

"The integrity of this body is at stake," said Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst).

"The silence [of Smith] in this case speaks volumes," said Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie).

Smith held a news conference Friday saying he intends to remain on the ballot and run in November.

"My colleagues didn't wait for the whole truth," Smith said. "I am happy, because through this ordeal I have been able to know who my real friends are."

Smith is a political protégé of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, and was appointed to the House to replace Annazette Collins who moved from the House to the Senate after Sen. Rickey Hendon retired.

Federal prosecutors contend Smith took a $7,000 bribe in exchange for promising to steer a state grant to a daycare center.

Even after being charged by the U.S. Attorney’s office, Smith won re-election in March. Democratic party officials then urged Smith to resign, something he has resisted.

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