House will convene Aug. 17 on Smith's fate

Jul 20, 2012

The Illinois House of Representatives will convene for one day next month to consider whether to expel one of its own.

A day after a special House committee recommended that Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, lose his seat, Speaker Michael Madigan told members to be in Springfield on Friday, Aug. 17.

A special legislative panel is scheduled to hold its final disciplinary hearing against indicted State Rep. Derrick Smith, D-Chicago, next Thursday, but Smith's attorneys want that timeline pushed back.

Smith was arrested in March on charges that he accepted a $7,000 bribe in exchange for helping a day care center get a state grant.

Although he's pleaded not guilty in federal court, there's no requirement that the General Assembly wait for a final verdict. The Illinois House is free to mete out punishment -- including taking away his seat.