Smith admitted in November to taking at least $44,000 in bribes from an as-yet-unnamed city vendor in exchange for helping the vendor win lucrative contracts. Smith pledged to cooperate with the federal probe at the time, and last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed Smith had secretly recorded conversations with other individuals for the government’s case. As a result, prosecutors asked Judge Steve Jones for leniency, including a 40 percent reduction in Smith’s sentencing on account of his “substantial assistance.”
The bribery scandal at City Hall came into public view a year ago when contractor Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. admitted to paying more than $1 million in bribes to a still unnamed person under the belief some of the money would go to people with authority over city contracts. A second contractor, Charles P. Richards Jr., also admitted paying bribes.