CHICAGO (CBS) – State Representative-elect Derrick Smith will have more than nine months in office before facing trial on federal charges of taking a $7,000 cash bribe.
Smith was arrested in March, just days before winning the Democratic primary. He was expelled from the Illinois House in the summer, but won his seat back in last week’s election, and will be sworn in again in January.
He’s been accused of taking a $7,000 cash bribe from a federal informant posing as the owner of a daycare center in his district, seeking Smith’s support for a state grant.
Smith has pleaded not guilty. On Wednesday, a federal judge set his trial date for Oct. 21, 2013.
If convicted at trial, he’d lose his seat in the Illinois General Assembly.
Some lawmakers have suggested trying to remove him from office before that, but to expel him again, they’d have to find a new reason to do so. The state constitution prevents a lawmaker from being expelled from office for the same reason more than once.