Derrick Smith: 'Will of the people' got me re-elected

November 8, 2012 2:51:50 PM PST
A state representative ousted from office earlier this year says it was the "will of the people" that got him re-elected.

Thursday, Derrick Smith thanked 10th District voters for their support.

"I want to say thank you to all the people in the district who voted for me," Smith said. "And I also want to thank the people who helped me pass out campaign literature and walk the wards throughout the district."

Illinois House Representative-elect Derrick Smith won Tuesday's election under a cloud of a federal indictment for allegedly taking a bribe.

Flanked by his attorneys Thursday, Smith would not speak about allegations, only share his plans to serve in the General Assembly.

"I want to devote all my time in making sure to do what I have to do to ensure the constituents of the 10th District get everything they deserve," said Smith.

Smith attorneys filed a motion to throw out the federal case because the criminal history of the federal informant was not fully disclosed to the court.

Smith's current term was cut short when the house vote for his expulsion following the indictment.

"We know he has been accused of a crime, but until that time comes, he is innocent," said Smith's attorney Victor Henderson.

"This is the first time the people came together and said, 'I don't care what you say about a man, until you prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,' " said Sam Adam Jr., Smith's attorney.

In Smith's 10th District, some supporters say the action of the house was premature and they still back Smith.

"A number of the young men in our community do get mistreated in some effort or entrapped in those kinds of things because of the way the system is set up," said Smith supporter Thomas Wood.

"I feel that the young man was not treated fair and square," said Mello Sam.

"Disappointed is the word to use," said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

White had been a supporter of Smith's. But White says Smith was not who he thought he was and White led a committee to find an alternate on the ballot who ultimately did not prevail.

"Based on the fact that he was arrested and he had a background, wejust wanted to give the people, wanted to give them a choice," White said. "Give them a choice."

Smith will be sworn in with the 98th General Assembly on January 9th.

The house cannot go after Smith in the next session on the same charges, only if he is found guilty of a felony would Smith lose his seat, but for now he is innocent under the law.

Smith's attorneys will be in court next Wednesday on the motion.


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