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Indicted Lawmaker To Offer Legal Advice To Constituents

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jun 15, 2012 9:10PM

Official photo
Indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith (D-10th) is holding his first constituent event since he was arrested for accepting a $7,000 bribe, and it's a clinic offering legal advice. Of course.

The legal advice is offered by Street Justice Inc., and it's an event that was regularly held by the 10th District office. This is an interesting choice for his first event back, though, considering Smith has been lying low since his arrest in March. For a while he didn't even show up to work.

In May he appeared at a House panel investigating him and refused to answer questions. That panel has since decided there is enough evidence to punish Smith for misconduct. West Side Democrats have chosen a candidate to run against Smith in the fall, since the lawmaker refused to resign from his post.

The Chicago Journal writes:

Carmela Wimberly, who works for Smith in his West Side office, said this was the third legal clinic they’ve done since Smith was appointed state rep last year. She said she didn’t see any connection between or irony involving the clinic and his current legal troubles.

“Actually, this is for the community — this has nothing to do with him personally,” Wimberly said. “For his issues that he has to deal with legally, he has a whole separate outside attorney. These attorneys have nothing to do with his case. So far, people are happy because they say they need help.”

The free legal clinic will offer advice on topics ranging from bankruptcy and landlord disagreements to DUIs and domestic violence. It is at his West Side office, 2532A W. Warren Blvd., on Saturday, July 21 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.