A judge has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the dropped charges against Jussie Smollett after he had initially been charged with staging a hate crime hoax.
Cook County Judge Michael Toomin ruled that Kim Foxx, the state attorney, had the right to withdraw from prosecuting the case against the 37-year-old actor, according to a Chicago Tribune report published Friday. But she did not have the authority to appoint her top deputy to handle the case, according to the ruling. (RELATED: Police Chief ‘Furious’ At Smollett Case Dismissal)
Toomin explained that a special prosecutor could end up charging the former “Empire” star and other charges could be brought if the investigation finds suspicion of wrongdoing by others. (RELATED: Jussie Smollett’s Episode of ‘Drop The Mic’ Has Been Pulled)
Former state appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien — who has been leading the effort for a special prosecutor — said that Foxx’s actions created “a perception that justice was not served here, that Mr. Smollett received special treatment.”
County prosecutors argued against the move, claiming the special prosecutor would just be duplicating the work of the county inspector general’s office. That office was already given the task of investigating the decision of Foxx’s office’s decision to drop all charges against Smollett.
As previously reported, the disgraced actor initially claimed he was attacked on the streets of his home in Chicago by two men who he said threw a rope around his neck and poured a bleach-like substance on him. They also allegedly yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him.
However, by the end of the investigation, police concluded the attack on the “Empire” actor was a hoax. Soon after, he was arrested and faced 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false police report.
Less than three weeks later, all charges against him were dropped by the State attorney’s office.