Intelligence Report: Derrick Smith informant was undercover FBI mole

May 30, 2012 (CHICAGO)

In this Intelligence Report: The campaign worker who turned Smith in had been working for the FBI for years.

The FBI planted a seasoned operative with a sordid personal history on the campaign staff of Illinois Representative Derrick Smith, according to records obtained by the I-Team. The confidential government informant who was the key to federal bribery and corruption charges against Smith began work for the FBI as far back as 2008 and was paid thousands of dollars for his help in previous cases.

The 10th District general assemblyman was arrested just a week before the March primary, an election he ended up winning despite being charged with accepting a payoff in exchange for supporting a daycare center grant. The whole scheme was phony, dummied up by the FBI in an undercover sting. At the center of it was one of Smith's political hired hands, a man who was secretly working for the FBI for years.

A letter from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to the judge in the case states that, "According to FBI internal records, over the past 3-4 years, CS-1 received approximately $2,100 from the FBI for his/her assistance in other investigations."

And Fitzgerald reports that the undercover informant had a 2004 drug conviction, a 1978 burglary conviction and 20 prior arrests for a variety of crimes including drugs and weapons.

Smith's lawyers suggest that the use of a yet-unidentified informant amounted to a dirty trick. In a new court filing, they allege that "the government fails to disclose that the origin of this case actually started around 2008...when the government hired a confidential source who routinely worked on other cases and got paid thousands of dollars."

In the original paperwork filed in the case against Smith, prosecutors understated the background and compensation of their undercover mole. The letter from U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald to the judge was intended to clarify the informant's history.

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