Panel assembled to decide discipline for indicted Illinois lawmaker
SPRINGFIELD — A bipartisan panel of Illinois House lawmakers has been assembled to determine what, if any, professional discipline should be handed down for indicted colleague Rep. Derrick Smith.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, appointed from his party — Barbara Flynn Currie, Edward Acevedo, Greg Harris, Camille Lilly and Kim du Buclet, all of Chicago, and Al Riley of Olympia Fields — to the Select Committee on Discipline.
House Republican Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, selected from his party: Chapin Rose, of Mahomet; Michael Connelly, of Lisle; Renee Kosel, of New Lenox; Sid Mathias, of Buffalo Grove; Chris Nybo, of Elmhurst; and Joe Sosnowski, of Rockford.
State Reps. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, and Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, will head the committee.
According to House guidelines, Lang and Durkin will “try” the case, and the 12 lawmakers are “jurors” who will hear the case. The jurors can exonerate, reprimand, censure or expel Smith.
Any recommendation for punishment must go before the House for a vote. A two-thirds majority is required for punishment to be handed down.
The discipline committee must meet by July 6, according to the guidelines. A date has not been set as of Wednesday afternoon.
Smith, a Chicago Democrat, was indicted in April on a federal bribery charge after authorities allegedly recorded him accepting a $7,000 bribe. The case is pending in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois.
An initial committee — the House Special Investigative Committee — met three times following Smith’s indictment to get to the bottom of what occurred. However, the committee was unable to obtain additional information about the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Smith and his attorney would not answer the committee’s questions about the case.
On June 6, the investigative committee announced its work was complete and that it was recommending discipline for Smith. Panelists said Smith’s silence was a factor in their decision.
The state House’s investigation is separate from and has no bearing on the criminal investigation.
Jayette Bolinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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