Smith attorney says House panel rushing case

CHICAGO – The attorney for state Rep. Derrick Smith told an Illinois House committee investigating the Chicago Democrat that they seem to be rushing to judgment.

Smith was arrested in March in an FBI sting in which he's accused of accepting a $7,000 bribe in exchange for helping a phony daycare center obtain a state grant. He's pleaded not guilty to federal charges.

On Wednesday his attorney, Victor Henderson, told a House panel they may be politically motivated and trying to get Smith's case finished before the election. A House committee earlier concluded there's enough evidence to justify action against him in the legislature.

Despite his arrest, Smith easily won his March primary battle and remains on the November ballot. Top Democrats have been calling on him to resign, but he's refused.

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