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Judge to appoint special prosecutor to investigate handling of Jussie Smollett case

CHICAGO — A Cook County judge ruled Friday that a special prosecutor would be appointed to investigate the Jussie Smollett case.

Specifically, the special prosecutor would examine State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office and its controversial decision to drop all charges against Smollett.

Smollett was accused of disorderly conduct and staging a phony hate crime to raise his profile — and salary — on the television series “Empire.”

Chicago police have said that they have overwhelming evidence against Smollett.

Smollett was charged with 16 counts. Police contend the black and openly gay actor staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Prosecutors dropped charges on March 26 without Smollett admitting guilt.

Then Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson expressed outrage over the prosecutors’ decision.

Detectives note in court documents that the Chicago Police Department was informed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office on Feb. 28 that they could no longer investigate the crime. Smollett was indicted on March 7. The lead investigators in the case met with Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier, who informed detectives “that she felt the case would be settled with Smollett paying the city of Chicago $10,000 in restitution and doing community service.”

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