A Chicago alderman urged indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) to either "get back to work" or to resign following a federal corruption charge on Tuesday, the same day Smith was formally indicted.
Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), one of several ward committeemen in Smith's district who would be responsible for choosing Smith's successor, told the Chicago Sun-Times that although he is not "trying to force him out," it is "totally unacceptable" for the embattled state representative to sit out from his legislative duties while still collecting his $65,000-per-year paycheck.
"I'm trying to get service to the residents of the 28th Ward," Ervin told the Sun-Times. "It's not about him stepping down. It's about him going to work. Do one or the other. But to stay at home, collect a check and do nothing is not acceptable."
The Chicago Tribune reports that Smith was indicted Tuesday.
Smith has, indeed, been a no-show in Springfield and made no public comments in the weeks since he was arrested and initially charged for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe from a fictional daycare center. According to the criminal complaint, an informant working with the FBI delivered an envelope filled with the cash to Smith, which he accepted.
Despite the allegations, Smith resoundingly weathered a primary challenge from Tom Swiss, a former chairman of the Cook County Republican party, last month. Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Secretary of State Jesse White and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis are among the elected officials who have since called for his resignation.
White, once one of Smith's most ardent proponents, told CBS Chicago last week that Smith has likely resisted the calls for his resignation out of financial concerns.
"He's concerned about having employment," White told CBS. "I think he'd step down tomorrow, or today, if he had a job. But the other question is, who would hire him?"
Victor Henderson, an attorney for Smith, told WLS's "The Don and Roma Show" that his client was charged because he declined to give them information on White.
"What I'm telling you is that we have had people coming into our office and tell us that the federal government was leaning on Derrick Smith to give up names, and Jesse White was one of those names," Henderson told WLS.
A spokesperson for White referred to Henderson's statement as "an unfounded desperate charge."
Meanwhile, a special Illinois House panel investigation into the allegations facing Smith has been temporarily put on hold, the Associated Press reports. The panel issued a letter stating that they'd become aware of the "possibility of further court action in the criminal proceeding" against the embattled lawmaker.WATCH a previous report on Smith's indictment:
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