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Secretary Of State: Rep. Smith Not Stepping Down Because He Needs Money

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Illinois State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) leaves the Dirksen Building federal courthouse on March 13, 2012, after he was released on bond, following his arrest for allegedly taking a $7,000 bribe. (Credit: CBS)

Illinois State Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) leaves the Dirksen Building federal courthouse on March 13, 2012, after he was released on bond, following his arrest for allegedly taking a $7,000 bribe. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is renewing his call for indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) to step down, and says the lawmaker would have done so if not for the paycheck.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and White – who had Smith appointed to a vacant state House seat – have all asked Smith to resign following his federal bribery arrest.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

White says Smith probably hasn’t resigned because of money.

“He’s concerned about having employment. I think he’d step down tomorrow, or today, if he had a job,” White said. “But the other question is, who would hire him?”

The job of Illinois state representative pays $65,000 per year. White believes Smith needs the regular paychecks.

“I think not only the next one, but paydays to follow until his time is up,” White said.

White says he will not be issuing a recommendation for Smith again, and Smith will have to get his next job Smith on his own.

Smith won the Democratic primary for re-election to the 10th District last month, a week after he was arrested on charges of taking a $7,000 bribe in exchange for his endorsement of what he thought was a daycare center’s state grant application. The daycare center itself was real, but the owner Smith was allegedly trying to help was fake, part of a sting by the FBI.

On March 2, Smith provided the aide with an official letter of support for the daycare owner to obtain a $50,000 Early Childhood Construction Grant from the state’s Capital Development Board. In return, during a recorded meeting this past Saturday, the aide gave Smith $7,000 in cash, purportedly from the fictional daycare owner, according to federal prosecutors.

Smith has not made any public statements since his arrest.

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