New Smollett indictment may shape Cook County State’s Attorney’s race

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CHICAGO — The new indictment of actor Jussie Smollett is taking a role in the race for Cook County State's Attorney, just a month before the election.

Smollett now faces six counts of disorderly conduct, after special prosecutor Dan Webb looked at the case.

Last year, Smollett claimed he was the target of a racial and homophobic crime, but then he was charged after police said he paid two brothers to stage the attack.

Three weeks later, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges.

Foxx’s campaign is questioning the timing of the indictment, saying it feels like a politicization of the justice system.

Those hoping to win her seat are applying the pressure, and calling for Foxx to step down.

"Yes, I think she should resign," candidate Donna Moore said.

"In any other county in the state of Illinois, she would have been censured, suspended or disbarred. So there is no doubt she must resign now," candidate Bob Fioretti said.

"We here in Cook County are just tired of politically connected people. People getting better deals," candidate Bill Conway said.

The candidates also echoed the same sentiment — that Foxx can no longer be trusted to serve as State's Attorney.

“I have to be accountable for not only the actions of myself but my office. And I don’t run from that responsibility," Foxx said. "What I will say is we have an obligation to be transparent in everything we do and we dropped the ball in the transparency of the way we handled this case.”

According to Webb, it’s still unclear why the original 16-count indictment was dropped last March.

Foxx publicly recused herself from the smollett case, but continued to be involved. It was revealed the State's Attorney had contact with a Smollett relative and former aid to Michelle Obama while the case was active.

Webb said Foxx’s office has not been able to produce documents that show similar cases being handled in the same way.

Webb is still working on the second part of his investigation to determine if the State's Attorney's office or anyone who works there, engaged in wrongdoing when it comes to the Smollett case.

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