Thursday, 09 April, 2020

Smollett refuses to reimburse Chicago for investigation, city set to sue

Jussie Smollett faces Thursday deadline to pay Chicago $130,000 Smollett refuses to reimburse Chicago for investigation, city set to sue
Adrian Cunningham | 05 April, 2019, 04:29

The City of Chicago will be filing a civil lawsuit against Jussie Smollett after he refused to reimburse the city for investigative costs into what authorities said was a staged racist, anti-gay attack. Smollett told police that two masked men hit him, doused him with an unknown chemical substance and placed a thin rope around his neck in downtown Chicago on January 29th.

There will be no criminal trial on that question after Cook County prosecutors last week dropped all 16 felony counts against Smollett, saying they still believed they could prove the charges but that it wasn't worth the time and expense. The city "will file the suit in the near future".

Previously, Jussie and his lawyer claimed Smollett was victimized twice, once by the two alleged attackers and again by the media and the public who doubted his story. Union President Kevin Graham said chiefs are upset over cases in Cook County that, "have gone un-prosecuted, or having charges reduced".

He said the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice would review "the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago", describing it as "an embarrassment to our nation".

"It appears your strategy to address non-violent crime in Cook County is to decriminalize or ignore it, regardless of any collateral cost which is born overwhelmingly by individual communities and their police forces", Mellema concludes.

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Harvey Police Chief Gregory Thomas who is African American and was not at the news conference, said it was premature to ask Foxx to resign. Groups representing police chiefs in the north, west, and south suburbs all approved votes of "no confidence" in Foxx ahead of Thursday's announcement.

But, the leaders insisted, their issues with Foxx did not start with Smollett, who was accused of fabricating an possible hate crime against himself to bolster his profile and his career. That means the city could demand more than $390,000 USA from Smollett.

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

To the city's advantage, the threshold for proving he staged the incident will be lower than in criminal court.

A letter to Smollett from the Department of Law, City of Chicago, stated that "in order to resolve the matter without further legal action, the City requires immediate payment of the $130,106.15 expended on overtime hours in the investigation of this matter".