Who'd Believe It? Dirty Politics in Chicago
CHICAGO (CN) - A longtime Chicago alderman defamed a candidate for the state House as a "wife beater" who ducked his child support, the candidate claims in court.
Eddie Winters sued former Chicago Alderman Ed H. Smith in Cook County Court.
Winters is seeking the Democratic nomination for the state House in the 10th District, on the West and Northwest sides of Chicago.
He served as interim representative from September 2012 to January 2013, replacing Derrick Smith, who was expelled by the General Assembly for taking bribes.
Derrick Smith - not the defendant Smith in this action - allegedly took $7,000 in cash in an FBI undercover operation, in which a fictitious day care operator wanted Smith to write a letter supporting a bid for a $50,000 grant.
Derrick Smith remained on the ballot for the Nov. 6, 2012 election, and won. He will retake his seat in the next Legislature. He will not be subject to a second expulsion, but will be removed if found guilty of the charges against him.
In his lawsuit, Winters says he is "running for the same seat to which he was appointed in September 2012, and in which he served for several months, until January 8, 2013, before being replaced by the representative whom he had replaced."
"One of Winters's opponents on the March 18, 2014 Democratic Primary ballot is Pamela Reaves-Harris.
"Ms. Reaves-Harris is supported by several West Side politicians and former politicians, one of whom is defendant Smith."
Defendant Ed Smith was alderman of Chicago's 28th Ward from 1983 to 2010. He is not related to Derrick Smith.
"On January 5, 2014, Smith appeared at the Mt. Vernon Church, 2622 West Jackson, Chicago, Illinois to speak out against Winters.
"Among other things, Smith falsely claimed that Winters is a 'wife-beater' and that he failed to pay child support," the complaint states.
Smith also said that Winters left "his child starving," according to the lawsuit.
Winters seeks punitive damages for defamation and invasion of privacy.
He is represented by James Shapiro, with Robinson, Shapiro & Schwartz.