CHICAGO –A city official says Chicago is seeking $130,000 from “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to cover the costs of the investigation into his reported beating, which police say was staged.
Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city government’s legal department, confirmed the amount Thursday, hours after Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city would try to recoup the money it spent on the investigation.
Emanuel and the police department blasted the decision to drop the charges, saying they stand by their belief that Smollett hired two friends to help him stage the attack because he was unhappy about his salary and wanted publicity.
Earlier Thursday, Smollett’s lawyers said no longer seeking an expungement.
During a hearing, one of Smollett’s defense attorneys said they have not filed any motions to expunge his records.
Judge LeRoy Martin, who presided over Thursday’s motion, explained it could take seven-to-eight months to get an expungement hearing, and there is a 60-day period in which objections to the expungement can be filed.
Martin had said that even if the records are expunged they will not be destroyed, instead, he said, the records would be impounded.
Smollett’s attorney Patricia Brown Holmes released the following statement: “We support the court files being preserved. We have not and will not file a motion for destruction of any records in this case.”
But it’s not clear if the records in the case will be unsealed. Several news organizations including WGN News are suing to have that happen.
Prosecutors dropped all charges against the actor Tuesday. Smollett had been charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct after Chicago police say he staged a racial and homophobic attack in the city in January.
Smollett’s righteous insistence of innocence after Tuesday’s court hearing flies in the face of considerable evidence in the police report on the hate crime he alleged.
The report was sealed Wednesday at the defense’s request, but WGN News obtained a copy just before the court order.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson stand by the investigation which found the alleged attack to be a hoax perpetrated by Smollett. Mayor Emanuel believes the actor still owes the city of Chicago an apology.
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx insists Smollett was treated the same as others charged with Class 4 felonies, who rarely go to prison.
Meantime, the FBI is still investigating the threatening letter sent to Smollett at the “Empire” set a week before the alleged attack.
President Donald Trump announced in a tweet Thursday the FBI and the Department of Justice will review the Jussie Smollett case.
FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
Smollett’s attorneys continue to insist on his innocence claiming they were ready to move forward with trial, but it was the state to discontinue the matter.
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