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posted: 4/30/2012 11:35 AM

State lawmaker pleads not guilty to bribery charge

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Associated Press

An Illinois state lawmaker has officially pleaded not guilty to a federal bribery charge.

State Rep. Derrick Smith appeared in court Monday for his arraignment. The Chicago Democrat has been charged with accepting a bribe in exchange for using his influence to obtain a state grant for a daycare center. Prosecutors say he faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His next court date is May 16.

Smith was arrested March 13, days before Illinois' primary election where he won the Democratic nomination despite his arrest.

Several state leaders have called for Smith to step down.

Smith's attorney, Victor Henderson, says his client is innocent and he has no intentions of leaving office.

A special legislative committee is reviewing whether Smith should be removed from office.

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