SPRINGFIELD - If Jesse White knew then what he knows now, there would be no Derrick Smith controversy.
Smith was appointed to an open seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 2011, but soon enough was arrested for allegedly agreeing to write a letter of recommendation for a grant in exchange for a $7,000 cash bribe.
Smith’s House colleagues kicked him out during a special session day last month. But between his arrest and his expulsion, he won the Democratic primary and is on the general election ballot against another candidate, Lance Tyson of the Unity Party.
What do we know about Tyson? “He’s a lawyer,” says Secretary of State White, “and, of course, Derrick Smith needs a lawyer.”
Smith rose to power in the first place upon White’s political patronage. White is a Democratic committeeman in the area. White admits supporting him. “I did, but if I had known then what I know now, he would not have been that individual,” White said Monday in Springfield.