WATCH: Jussie’s Response to Charges Being Dropped Sparks Nationwide Outrage
‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett had until Thursday to pay up for the cost of the investigation into what the city says was the staged attack against himself.
The city send him a letter on March 28, asking for $130,000.
While the 16 felony counts of false reporting were dropped against him and there apparently was some form of agreement that he forfeit his $10,000 bond, the police and the Mayor said that he was not exonerated and that they were still holding him responsible for the time and money the city spent on the case which Mayor Emanuel said was far more than $10,000.
The city asked him to pay within seven days last week.
“This is a reasonable and legally justifiable amount to collect to help offset the cost of the investigation,” said Bill McCaffrey, a spokesperson for the Department of Buildings.
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“Given that he doesn’t feel any sense of contrition and remorse, my recommendation is that when he writes the check, in the memo section, he can put the words, ‘I’m accountable for the hoax,’” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last week.
Smollett reportedly did not pay up.
So now the city has just announced they are drafting a lawsuit against him.
“Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019,” the city’s Law Department said in a statement. “The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook Country. Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team.”
The suit will be filed in the “near future,” officials said, and will seek the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance.
City officials said they would have no further comment on the matter Thursday evening.
While a new mayor coming in on May 20th could decide to reverse any legal action started under Rahm Emanuel, it sounds like the new mayor, Lori Lightfoot plans on holding Smollett to account.
From Daily Wire:
“We cannot create the perception that if you’re rich or famous or both that you got one set of justice and for everybody else, it’s something much harsher. That won’t do, and we need to make sure that we have a criminal justice system that has integrity,” she continued. “The state’s attorney’s office has to provide more information about the rationale for the decision to drop the charges.”
When asked about the evidence for prosecuting Smollett, and whether she believed Smollett was innocent of the charges, which came from both the prosecutor’s office and a grand jury, Lightfoot was non-committal.
“I saw … a very compelling case,” she said, “with videotapes, witness statements, and other information that looked like he had staged a hoax. And if that happens, he’s got to be held accountable.”
Lightfoot’s opponent that lost, Toni Preckwinkle, was a friend and mentor to the State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. Lightfoot holds no allegiance to Foxx and may be able to evaluate the matter independently.