CHICAGO - Embattled Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has asked the county’s inspector general to investigate her office’s handling of the criminal case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, according to multiple reports.
In a letter to city officials obtained by the Chicago Tribune, Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard said his office had gotten a request from Foxx “to conduct an office of the Independent Inspector General review of the circumstances surrounding the resolution of criminal charges formerly pending against Jussie Smollett.”
The state attorney’s office confirmed to WBBM-TV that Foxx had made the request.
“Ensuring that I and my office have the community’s trust and confidence is paramount to me, which is why I invited an independent review of this matter,” Foxx said in a statement released to the Tribune. “I welcome this investigation and pledge my full cooperation and the cooperation of my office as IG Blanchard conducts his review.”
Foxx has been heavily criticized since her office abruptly dropped charges last month against Smollett, who is black and gay. Police said Smollett faked a racist, homophobic hate crime on himself in January. Police have demanded Smollett pay the city $130,000 to cover the costs of the investigation into his initial report and filed suit Thursday against the actor after he refused to pay.
Smollett had told officers he was confronted in the predawn hours Jan. 29 by a pair of men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, hit him in the face, poured an unknown substance on him and wrapped a rope around his neck.
Foxx has argued that there was noting outstanding in her decision to drop charges against Smollett, despite the fact that police and prosecutors have continued to say they believe the actor is guilty of perpetrating a hate crime hoax.
"I believe this is a just outcome based on the circumstances," Foxx told WLS-TV last month.
President Donald Trump said in a post on Twitter last month that FBI and Justice Department officials were also probing Foxx’s handling of the case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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