CHICAGO — A former Illinois Appellate Court judge on Friday petitioned for a special prosecutor to investigate Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case.
It’s the second such request in as many days.
Retired Judge Sheila O’Brien argued in her petition that Smollett received special treatment and that there’s a perception justice was not served.
In an editorial last week in the Chicago Tribune, O’Brien wrote: “The rank-and-file prosecutors are disgusted. So am I. We are a world-class city. We deserve a world-class justice system — not one that is the joke of the talk shows.”
On Thursday, a former Cook County state’s attorney who worked under Foxx also asked Presiding Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr. to appoint someone new to take a fresh look at the case.
It’s a case that is considered unprecedented in many ways. Foxx dropped all charges against Smollett and asked only that he forfeit his bond — not plead guilty.
The actor had been charged with disorderly conduct on allegations he filed a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate crime. After charges were dropped, lawyers for the city of Chicago demanded Smollett pay for the $130,000 investigation into his claims.
Smollett fired back Thursday. His attorneys sent a letter to the city accusing Chicago of trying to harass and intimidate Smollett — hinting the actor might sue the city for defamation if he’s not allowed to move on with his life.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel refused to tell reporters Friday whether the city would take further legal action against the “Empire” actor.
“That’s in court,” Emanuel said, “and I’m not focused on it at all, and neither is the city. We’re focused on all the other stuff that we’ve got to get done.”
Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot was a bit more definitive.
“I understand that this is a topic of great fasciation for some,” Lightfoot said, “but we’ve got 10,000 things we need to do in the city, and Jussie Smollett doesn’t rank on that list for me.”
Emanuel was previously critical of Foxx when the case was dropped, calling it a “whitewashing of justice.” On Friday, he said he does not believe Foxx should step down, but does want her to answer questions people still have about the case.