Disgraced former State Representative Stephen “Stat” Smith’s appearance in court on Friday, January 11, resulted in Smith formalizing his guilty plea on charges of committing voter fraud in 2009 and 2010, and agreeing to waive his right to challenge the sentence imposed by the court, as long as it does not include more than 24 months of jail time.
In the plea agreement reached between Smith’s attorneys and federal prosecutors, the U.S. attorney’s office has recommended six months of jail time and 12 months of probation, along with a fine of not more than $10,000, to be determined by the court.
The sentencing of Smith on April 5, may not bring the story to a close however, as federal prosecutors noted in court documents that the Smith may have had assistance in his scheme from “one or more government officials,” but those officials have not as yet been identified by prosecutors and there has been some indication that Smith may be working with prosecutors with an on-going investigation.
Meanwhile, local officials have been calling for more transparency, with members of the Board of Aldermen and Common Council working to convene a Joint Convention to review the case and determine what measures the city can take to ensure that all election preparations and procedures are legal and ethical.
The Joint Convention, if called, could be held prior to the next the Board of Aldermen’s meeting next Monday, January 28. The city has invited representatives of the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office, as well as a representative of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office and the City Clerk’s office to join the conversation.