Derrick Smith Won't Testify Before House Committee | NBC Chicago

Derrick Smith Won't Testify Before House Committee

The indicted representative said he won't step down from his elected post

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    Rep. Derrick Smith, indicted on federal bribery charges, says he's an innocent man and won't step down. Kim Vatis reports. (Published Thursday, May 10, 2012)

    Indicted Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) on Thursday maintained his innocence during a hearing in Springfield meant to help determine what action the House might take against him.

    Smith told the committee he would not testify and would not step down from his elected post.

    "I will continue to represent the interests of people in the district," Smith read from a prepared statement. "They elected me despite the fact that the government [charged] me just a week before the primaries. As the people in the district did not abandon me, I will not abandon them."

    Smith was indicted last month after allegedly accepting a $7,000 bribe from undercover officers.

    According to federal authorities, one of Smith's former campaign workers, who was working with investigators, approached Smith with information about a day care owner who was seeking a state grant to make repairs on the facility.

    Smith said Thursday he intends to fight the charges and clear his name but he will stay quiet.

    "I stand here now as an innocent man, a man who has been accused but not convicted of a crime by the federal government," Smith said.