07/19/2012 05:39 pm ET

Panel: Indicted Rep. Derrick Smith Should Be Expelled From House

State Rep. Derrick Smith should be the first member of the Illinois House to be expelled in more than a century after tarnishing the integrity of the legislative chamber with his federal bribery arrest, a panel of lawmakers voted Thursday.

The 12-member House Select Committee on Discipline, made up of six Republicans and six Democrats, agreed by an 11-1 vote to recommend that the full House be asked to oust the West Side Democrat. It wasn’t clear when that vote involving Smith and his 117 colleagues would occur.

The panel opted for the harshest punishment it could deliver against Smith after deliberating for about 2 ½ hours. That followed earlier debate between Smith’s lawyer and two legislative prosecutors for 2 ½ hours in a hearing that carried the unmistakable feel of a criminal trial.

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