Chicago to Sue Jussie Smollett After He Refuses to Pay Investigation Costs

Chicago to Sue Jussie Smollett After He Refuses to Pay Investigation Costs

Chicago to Sue Jussie Smollett After He Refuses to Pay Investigation Costs

Days after Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx suddenly dropped all 16 felony charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, letting him off scot-free, a group of police chiefs are showing her they vehemently disagree with her decision - and come to think of it, many other decisions too. "As part of this legal action, the Law Department will pursue the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance", McCaffrey wrote in the statement.

Thursday was the deadline for Smollett to issue payment, seven days since Mayor Rahm Emanuel's law chief sent the "Empire" actor a letter demanding the payment.

A spokeswoman for Smollett's legal team declined comment on the latest development.

Taking the matter to trial, carries risks for Smollett, including by extending negative publicity and potentially making it harder for him to get his entertainment career back on track.

A fan takes a selfie with actor Jussie Smollett following his court appearance at Leighton Courthouse on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

A suit could lead to a drawn out battle in civil court that could end in a trial focused on the question of whether Smollett did or didn't orchestrate the January 29 attack. While a criminal trial requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction, a civil trial would require the city to prove only that a "preponderance of evidence" - meaning it's more likely true than not - that the incident was a hoax orchestrated by Smollett.

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Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, said during a pre-election debate that "the public has to have answers as to why these charges were dismissed".

In her response, Foxx said, "Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson", referring to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who was among those to publicly debunk Smollett's police report. Chicago's WLS-TV reports that three associations representing suburban police chiefs voted to express "no confidence" in Foxx. He also pointed to broader Foxx policies to not prosecute many lower-level felonies.

"What she's doing is enabling the offenders", said Steven Stelter of the West Suburban Chiefs Association.

"The State's Attorney's office here which made the decision unilaterally to drop the charges has to give a much more fulsome explanation", she told anchor Craig Melvin.

Foxx's office told WLS-TV earlier that the chiefs' criticism was "an excuse to justify" resistance to reform.

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