Ex-Rep. Derrick Smith's last-minute bid to avoid prison fails

Flickr | Beth Cortez-Neavel

CHICAGO (STMW) - It’s finally time for former state Rep. Derrick Smith to face the music.

A federal judge has ordered the West Side Democrat to report to prison by Friday and begin serving his five-month sentence for taking a $7,000 cash bribe, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman put Smith’s surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on hold late last month after Smith’s defense attorney asked the judge to first let his appeal process play out. After hearing arguments, the judge shot down his request Tuesday and gave Smith three days to surrender.

Last month, she pointed out in court that Smith’s sentence could have already been behind him had he started serving it immediately.

“He would have been done by now,” Coleman said. “It would have been over.”

The feds caught Smith 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.

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—– up.”