After former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett cost the city of Chicago $130,000 in police overtime hours working on his allegedly staged racist and homophobic attack, they asked him to pay the bill. On Thursday, Smollett missed the deadline to pay up, so now officials are taking him to court.
“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,” said spokesman Bill McCaffrey in a statement. “The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County.”
A week ago, a lawyer for the City of Chicago sent Smollett a letter asserting that the false police report caused Chicago Police to divert “resources from other investigations and undermining the criminal justice system.” After the city fined Smollett $130,000, Smollett’s attorney, Mark Geragos, responded saying his client “will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum.”
Meanwhile, Chicago police are speaking out against Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx after she dismissed the 16 felony charges against Smollett. On Wednesday, the police chiefs of three Chicago suburban police departments and the head of the police union announced “no confidence” against Foxx. On Thursday at a press conference, they called for her resignation.
“What she is doing is enabling the offenders; bad guys are not being held accountable,” said Chief Steven Stelter, of the West Suburban Chiefs Association.
Foxx responded in a statement, saying that she will not resign: “I was elected by the people of Cook County to pursue community safety, prevent harm, and uphold the values of fairness and equal justice. I’m proud of my record in doing that, and I plan to do so through the end of my term and, if the people so will it, into the future.”
Foxx has been criticized for her ties to a family friend of Smollett’s, Tina Tchen, Michele Obama’s former chief of staff.
The email sent by Michelle Obama’s former Chief of Staff Tina Tchen which was the precursor to text and phone call exchanges between SA Kim Foxx and an unknown #JussieSmolett family member. pic.twitter.com/aRUiK3XYWQ
— raferweigel (@RaferWeigel) March 26, 2019
When Foxx announced Smollett’s charges had been dropped, she said his community service was a sufficient payment for his crimes. “Based on the nature of the offense and his background, this was a just outcome,” she said. “Justice takes many forms.”