ADVOCATE EXCLUSIVE: Judge accepts Smith’s guilty plea, remains free on $10K unsecured bond

Disgraced state rep to be sentenced on April 5

  By James D. Mitchell

It was William Shakespeare who once wrote to the ages: ‘Tis one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall” – and it was disgraced State Rep. Steven “Stat” Smith who declared, “Guilty, your honor” to Chief Magistrate Leo T. Sorokin in the 7th floor courtroom at the Joseph P. Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston Friday afternoon. Standing with his attorneys Peter Bellotti and Peter Horstmann, the former school committee member and alderman waived his right to a trial and stated to the judge that he alone accepted full responsibility, coming in deep contrast to federal prosecutor’s description that in 2009 and 2010, Smith schemed with others to disqualify Everett voters by diluting valid ballots. Smith, according to Federal prosecutors, submitted fraudulent absentee ballots in Nov. 2009, Sept. 2010 and Nov. 2011. The prosecutor stated that absentee ballots were submitted in the Everett Sept. 9, 2010 primary and November 11, 2010 general election. Following three examples of Smith’s misdeeds of absentee ballot fraud, the prosecutor stated that Smith was in fact “working with other government employees.” Judge Sorokin asked Smith if he disagreed with the prosecutor’s charges, Smith stood silent for a minute, replying in a shaky voice, “I alone accept full responsibility” as if he were declaring his undying loyalty to God and country. But instead, the judge magistrate reminded Smith that he was asking for a plea. “Guilty, your honor,” he replied. The judge then accepted his plea, asking the prosecutor and Smith’s attorney for a sentencing date – which was set for April 5, 2013 at 3:00 PM. It was recommended that Smith pay a $10,000 unsecured bond with travel restrictions, allowing for travel only in the New England states and Florida, where he owns property, according to his attorney. The judge granted Smith permission to travel to Florida, but only with permission after filing a motion with the Probation office. The hearing ended – along with Smith’s political career. But what of the naming of government employees who acted in collusion with Smith in his absentee ballot scheme? Who are they? Will they be named as part of the plea agreement? Everett voters will have to wait until April 5 to find out if there really is true justice. And it was Shakespeare who also wrote, “If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.”