The city of Chicago is demanding that actor Jussie Smollett pay a $130,000 fine to compensate for the city and police resources spent on investigating his debunked claims of a hate crime. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a news conference on Thursday, slamming prosecutors for unexpectedly dropping the 16 felony counts charged against Smollett.
“Given that he doesn’t feel any sense of contrition and remorse, my recommendation is when he writes check in the memo section [of the check], he can put the word ‘I’m accountable for the hoax,” Emanuel said.
In a letter addressed to Smollett from Emanuel’s legal team, the city asserts that Smollett’s allegedly false police report caused Chicago Police to divert “resources from other investigations and undermining the criminal justice system.” The letter also states that if Smollett fails to pay the fine, he may be prosecuted by the Department of Law for “making a false statement to the City.”
BREAKING: The letter that the city of Chicago sent to Jussie Smollett demands he pays $130,106.15.
It also states: "If the amount is not timely paid, the Department of Law may prosecute you for making a false statement to the City" pic.twitter.com/EHO4wKUST5
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 28, 2019
After the charges were dropped on Tuesday, Smollett maintained his innocence, telling reporters that he has been “truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”
On Thursday, Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that Smollett did not lie when he described his attackers as white, and that they could have been wearing “whiteface” like the Joker.
“He did tell police that from what he saw, he thought it was white or pale skin, that’s what he initially said,” Glandian said. “Obviously, you can disguise that. You can put makeup on.”
State prosecutors dropped the charges against Smollett after he completed two days of community service and forfeited his $10,000 bond. The investigation, which involved officers working overtime poring through hours of security camera footage, cost the city a reported $150,000.
State prosecutor Joe Magats said, “Our priority is violent crimes and the drivers of violence. Jussie Smollett is neither one of those.” When asked if the $10,000 and community service were enough to wipe Smollett’s charges clean, he said “I feel that it is.”