- Associated Press - Friday, March 11, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - A federal appeals court won’t overturn former Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith’s bribery conviction.

A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Friday that trial rules weren’t violated when an informant’s undercover recordings were used without calling the informant to the witness stand.

The 52-year-old was convicted in June 2014 of bribery and attempted extortion for taking $7,000 from a purported day care operator seeking a $50,000 state grant. The Chicago Tribune reports (https://trib.in/1UlzJJ2 ) that the Chicago Democrat is to be released March 19 after serving a five-month sentence.

Smith claimed prosecutors violated hearsay rules and his constitutional right to confront witnesses against him when they used the recordings. The appeals court ruled the recordings were properly played to show context of Smith’s statements.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, https://www.chicagotribune.com

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