(WBBM NEWSRADIO)— Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is doubling down and saying her office did nothing wrong when it dropped criminal charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in 2019 after he was accused of staging a hate crime against himself.
The Chicago Sun-Times published an opinion column attributed to Foxx Thursday evening following Smollett’s sentencing in Cook County Circuit Court. A judge ordered the actor to serve 30 months of felony probation, including a 150-day stint in jail that he was to begin immediately.
Foxx called the Smollett trial — which ended in December with the actor’s conviction on disorderly conduct charges — a “damaging, costly, and disingenuous criminal prosecution.”
After Foxx’s office declined to pursue criminal charges against Smollett, a judge appointed a special prosecutor to re-examine the high-profile case. A grand jury reinstated the charges, and an investigation accused the State’s Attorney’s office of making mistakes, but not deliberate wrongdoing.
“Given the reputational price Smollett paid, the $10,000 bond we held, and the fact that he’d never been accused of a violent crime, my office made the decision not to further pursue a criminal conviction,” Foxx said in her letter. “This story should have ended there, as thousands upon thousands of non-prosecuted cases do every day.”
Foxx insists there are more pressing issues, including a continuing rash of homicides and wrongful convictions, deserving the attention of the criminal justice system. The African-American prosecutor questioned the second-guessing about her office’s handling of the Smollett case.
“Black women elected prosecutors around the country have faced the same mob mentality,” Foxx writes.
The Smollett case and criticisms about how it originally was handled has dogged Foxx’s office, although she sailed to re-election in 2020.
*story by Audacy.com