New State Legislature Includes Three Facing Criminal Charges

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a dubious distinction for the new class of Illinois lawmakers being sworn in Wednesday in Springfield.

It’s the first time in years that three sitting lawmakers simultaneously face criminal charges.

Representatives Derrick Smith and LaShawn Ford and state Sen. Donne Trotter, all Chicago Democrats, face varying charges.

Smith is under federal indictment in a bribery case.

Ford is accused of bank fraud.

Trotter is charged with trying to bring a gun onto a plane.

Last year, Smith was expelled from the House by his colleagues.

In November, voters returned him to office.

In a state that has sent two consecutive governors to prison, political science professor Kent Redfield says this just further undermines credibility and trust in state government.

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