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updated: 5/30/2014 4:19 PM

FBI agent testifies wiretap request misstated informant's record

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  • State Rep. Derrick Smith is charged with taking a $7,000 bribe from a day care operator seeking a state grant.

      State Rep. Derrick Smith is charged with taking a $7,000 bribe from a day care operator seeking a state grant.
    Associated Press/May 21

Associated Press

An FBI agent has testified at a Chicago Democrat's bribery trial that an application asking permission for an informant to wear a wire greatly understated his criminal background.

Agent Ryan McDonald testified Friday at state Rep. Derrick Smith's trial. The 50-year-old lawmaker denies taking a $7,000 bribe. McDonald says the application indicated the campaign worker-turned-informant had one arrest. He actually had 22.

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The mistake was spotted after a judge approved the wiretap.

The informant recorded Smith apparently talking about a bribe from a day care operator. Using slang for money, Smith asks how she'll get "the cheddar" to him.

The defense has attacked the informant's credibility. McDonald concedes that the informant was motivated by money the government paid him for his cooperation -- sometimes as much as $1,000 a week.

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