Jussie Smollett Sued By Chicago Over Investigative Costs

Jussie Smollett Sued By Chicago Over Investigative Costs

The city will also seek unspecified attorneys' fees and costs. While the prosecutor's office dropped all the charges against Smollett, the City of Chicago hasn't been almost as forgiving.

Chicago is suing actor Jussie Smollett for the costs of investigating his claims that he was the victim of a hate crime.

A spokesperson for Smollett declined to comment at the time this story was filed.

Smollett, who is African-American and openly gay, found himself at the center of an global media firestorm after he reported being the victim of a January 29 attack by two people who shouted the slurs, hit him and wrapped a noose around his neck.

"The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department take seriously those who make false statements to the police, thereby diverting resources from other investigations and undermining the criminal justice system", said the letter to Smollett signed by Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel.

As previously reported, the city delivered a letter to Smollett's legal team late last month seeking $130,000 from the actor, covering "overtime hours in the investigation of this matter". The City of Chicago said, "we have a lengthy and successful track record of using the False Statement Ordinance to recover money". In March, the city ordered Smollett to repay the $130,000 but Smollett, who has insisted the alleged attack did occur, has refused.

He was charged in February with staging the incident and filing a false police report. Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor who will be Chicago's first black female mayor when she's sworn in on May 20, has indicated only that the public deserves a better explanation for why the criminal charges against Smollett were dropped. Smollett never pleaded guilty, and some think that paying the amount would be tantamount to an admission of guilt.

At a news conference last month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the actor should "pay the city back".

Even in Circuit Court, with its lower standard of proof than in criminal trials, the city won't be able to prove that Smollett staged the attack, Geragos wrote.

Smollett has maintained his innocence, and said he was "truthful and consistent" from the start, but prosecutors have said they do not believe he is innocent, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said the actor owes Chicago an apology.

Police eventually determined the masked men were the Osundairo brothers, and they were identified as the men seen on surveillance video buying the rope that was hung around Smollett's neck during the alleged attack.



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