Former IL Rep. Derrick Smith sentenced to 5 months in prison for taking $7K bribe

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Derrick Smith gets 5 months
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Former state representative Derrick Smith was sentenced to five months in prison.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Surrounded by lawyers, his minister, family members and friends, former state representative Derrick Smith left the federal courthouse after being sentenced to five months in federal prison.

"I want to thank God, the constituents of the 10th district and individuals, my family and friends. God bless you and it's about rebuilding right now," Smith said.

Smith was convicted for accepting a $7,000 bribe in 2012 shortly after his appointment to the Illinois House. He took the money from an FBI informant who negotiated a deal between Smith and a fictitious day care center that supposedly needed a state grant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marsha Mcclellan wanted a four year prison term, but Judge Sharon Coleman questioned the expense of such incarceration to taxpayers.

Smith's attorney, Victor Henderson, asked for the minimum of probation or home confinement.

"We thank the judge for being sensible and being reasonable," the Rev. Marvin Alexander, Smith's pastor, said.

The Illinois House expelled smith after the 2012 indictment, but he was re-seated months later when re-elected by West Side voters. Last year, Smith was ousted automatically and permanently after his conviction.

When asked if he thought the five-month sentence was a victory, Hnederson said, "I think that sometimes less is more. So I think we're going to leave it there for now, OK?"

Smith is scheduled to begin serving his sentence on July 31st. Because he is sentenced to less than a year, he likely will spend the entire term at the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is just a few blocks from the federal courthouse.