‘Kim Foxx should not resign because she got democratically elected to serve. That’s what she should do…’
(Chicago Tribune) Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx should stay in office despite the avalanche of criticism that’s been leveled at her over the handling of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s criminal case, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday.
Emanuel, who last week blasted prosecutors’ decision to drop all charges against Smollett, said Foxx needs to focus on answering questions about the case but that he’s “totally against” the idea of her stepping down.
“Kim Foxx should not resign because she got democratically elected to serve. That’s what she should do,” Emanuel told reporters Friday. “And, as she has said herself and I have said and others, that we as a city deserve answers to the questions that remain unanswered and there will be a process to get to the bottom of that.”
Foxx’s office sparked an intense controversy last week when prosecutors abruptly dropped a 16-count indictment accusing Smollett of orchestrating a Jan. 29 racist and homophobic attack on himself to advance his career. In dismissing the case, prosecutors said they had cut a deal with the actor to perform two days of community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the city of Chicago.
The unusual move caught Chicago police brass by surprise and brought swift condemnation from Emanuel, who called it a “whitewash of justice.”
“Yes, we’re looking at the state’s attorney, it is not on the level from beginning to end and there needs to be a level of accountability throughout the system. And this sends an unambiguous message that there is no accountability, and that is wrong,” Emanuel said shortly after news of the decision broke.
Since then, the city has gone after Smollett, demanding he repay Chicago $130,106 — the cost of the police overtime hours expended in the investigation into his allegations. The actor missed a city-imposed Thursday deadline to pay or face further legal action.
Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos balked at the city’s demands in a letter dated Thursday and obtained by The Chicago Tribune. Los Angeles-based Geragos wrote that Smollett “will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum.”
A former assistant state’s attorney in Foxx’s office on Thursday filed a petition seeking a special prosecutor to look into the case and determine whether Smollett should be recharged with staging a hate crime and whether Foxx or people who work for her interfered with the investigation.
Smollett, who is black and openly gay, has said he was walking from a Subway sandwich shop to his apartment in the 300 block of East North Water Street about 2 a.m. when two men walked up, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, hit him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Smollett said they also poured a bleachlike substance on him and yelled, “This is MAGA country!” in reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Trump tweeted last week that he would tell the FBI to investigate how Smollett’s charges were dropped.
“Mr. Smollett vehemently denies making any false statements,” Geragos’ letter reads, echoing the actor’s public assertions of innocence last week after charges were dropped. “Your claim that Smollett filed a false police report and orchestrated his own attack is false and defamatory.”
When asked Friday whether the city intended to follow through on its threat to sue Smollett for the money, Emanuel said, “That’s in the courts. That’s not my focus.”
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