White to Smith: Step down now

Secretary of State Jesse White

Secretary of State Jesse White is in Quincy Tuesday promoting his new organ and tissue donation campaign.

During an award presentation at John Wood Community College, White addressed the federal corruption charges against his administrator, State Rep. Derrick Smith.

White headed the committee that selected Smith to fill the vacant Cook County house seat. Federal authorities arrested Smith March 13. White initially remained supportive of Smith.

Smith's attorney recently alleged that federal authorities are investigating White's office. The secretary of state now wants Smith out.

"As it turned out, he did something that was improper. He took $7,000 in the form of a bribe. And we have asked him time and time again, to do that what is right, what is just, and that is to step down. Because he's been an embarrassment to not only me personally, but to the people of his district and to the people of the state of Illinois," White said.

An investigation committee of lawmakers including State Rep. Jil Tracy could recommend disciplinary action for Smith, ranging from a formal reprimand to expelling Smith from the General Assembly - if he doesn't resign first.