Ex-Rep. Derrick Smith wants prison sentence put on hold

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Former state Rep. Derrick Smith already caught a big break when a federal judge sentenced him last spring to a mere five months in prison.

Now Smith is asking U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman to delay his surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He is finally expected to begin serving his sentence Wednesday.

Smith was caught on tape accepting a $7,000 cash bribe in exchange for a letter of support for a state grant application roughly a year after he’d been appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives.

Defense lawyer Michelle Jacobs argued in a motion filed Thursday she expects Smith to win either a new trial or a reduced sentence on appeal. But that process might not end before Smith leaves prison.

“It is also virtually certain that the duration of the appeal process will be longer than five months,” Jacobs wrote.

Jacobs is expected to make the request in court early Wednesday morning.

Smith thought the cash he was pocketing from an FBI mole in March 2012 was coming from the owner of a day care center in his district, prosecutors have said.

He later handed back to the FBI $2,500 of the bribe that he’d stashed in his bedroom, telling an agent he’d “f—ed up.”

The West Side Democrat became the first member in a century to be tossed from the House after his arrest. His constituents returned him to office in 2012, and he was finally defeated in the March 2014 primary.

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