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Judge Won’t Delay Lawmaker’s Bribery Trial

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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 (AP) – An Illinois lawmaker’s attorneys say House Speaker Mike Madigan didn’t personally request they seek a delay to their client’s bribery trial so he could vote on a critical tax bill.

At a Wednesday hearing, Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman denied Rep. Derrick Smith’s motion to postpone his May 28 Chicago trial to finish Springfield’s legislative session.

She said she’d switched around her own tight schedule to accommodate previous delay requests and wouldn’t do it again.

She also rejected claims Smith injured his back in an April car accident and that sitting through a trial now would be too painful.

Asked if Madigan asked Smith to make the request, attorney Sheldon Sorosky told reporters, “God no.” Attorney Victor Henderson added Smith was only motivated by a sense of duty to constituents.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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