Lawmaker Denied Delay In Corruption Trial

May 22, 2014

Neither politics nor back pain will delay the start of State Representative Derrick Smith’s federal corruption trial next week.

Rep. Derrick Smith

The Chicago Democrat is also supposed to be in Springfield for the closing days of the legislative session.

Smith’s lawyer - Vic Henderson - wanted a delay for his client.

"He thought it was critical to be there for the last several days in order to represent the people in his district, and he made a request to do that," Henderson said.

But Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman says he should have planned ahead - and denied the request.

That could be a problem for Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan - who’s looking for votes to make a recent income tax hike permanent.

Madigan says Smith was a solid “yes.”

Henderson also brought up a new reason to delay the trial: a back injury that cropped up after Smith got in a car accident last month.

When Henderson questioned whether Smith could sit through a trial - the judge said - quote - “he can stand.”