SPRINGFIELD—Today State Representative Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) as House Manager - Minority Caucus of the Select Committee on Discipline provided enough evidence for the committee to recommend that State Representative Derrick Smith be removed from the House.
Smith was arrested in March on allegations of taking a $7,000 cash bribe in exchange for writing a letter on behalf of a daycare center seeking a state grant.
Durkin offered evidence to the committee and according to the Rules asked questions to the respondent (Derrick Smith) had he been present. Smith was given the opportunity over and over again to explain his side of the story and explain why he should remain in the General Assembly. Smith was not present for the hearing.
“Today the Select Committee on Discipline recommended State Representative Derrick Smith be removed from office,” said Durkin. “The next step will be for the entire House of Representatives to return to Springfield to pass a resolution that will formally remove him from office.”
The Select Committee on Discipline is composed of 12 members of the House, 6 appointed by the Speaker and Minority Leader. The House Managers, one from each caucus, presented the case to the committee similar to a prosecutor in a court.
“This was not a criminal trial. Rep. Smith was given every chance to defend himself, but made the conscious decision not to participate. The committee came to the conclusion that he has let down his constituents and failed to serve them fairly and honorably. The people of the 10th district and the State of Illinois deserve better.”
During the proceedings of the Special Investigative Committee and the Select Committee on Discipline Smith was given five separate chances to speak and present his side of the story but he did not speak on the record during a single hearing.
“I regret that we once again must go down this road, but it is an important function of this chamber and I proud that the House worked together in a bipartisan manner to give Rep. Smith his due process and every opportunity to prove his innocence,” said Durkin.
An expulsion resolution requires a vote of 79 or more members of the House.
*In 2009, Durkin served as the ranking Republican on the House Investigative Impeachment Committee of former governor Rod Blagojevich. He has also previously served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney and an Assistant Illinois Attorney General. He currently works in private practice at a Chicago law firm.