A Chicago judge just spelled doom for Jussie Smollett and probably for Kim Foxx the disgraced District Attorney who set the cover-up in motion.
In a surprising decision, the judge just ordered a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this hoax. The judge has given this prosecutor a wide mandate including bringing charges against Smollett.
From The Chicago Tribune: A Cook County judge on Friday ordered the surprise appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the short-lived prosecution of Jussie Smollett, saying it may have been legally invalid from the very beginning,
Judge Michael Toomin ruled that State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had the right to withdraw herself from overseeing the prosecution but held no legal authority to delegate that responsibility to her top deputy.
With the deputy holding no real authority, the Smollett case made its way through the court system without a prosecutor at the helm, the veteran judge said.
“There was no master on the bridge to guide the ship as it floundered through uncharted waters, and it ultimately lost its bearings,” Toomin said. “… The unprecedented irregularities identified in this case warrants the appointment of independent counsel to restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system.”
The special prosecutor, yet to be named by Toomin, will have a wide mandate. The individual may investigate “the actions of any person or office involved in all aspects of the case,” Toomin said, and could re-charge Smollett or bring an indictment against anyone else if there are reasonable grounds to do so.
Toomin made the decision even though the county’s inspector general’s office is already investigating the decision by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office to look into the controversy. Foxx herself, however, agreed to that probe.
Former state appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien has spearheaded the effort for a special prosecutor, arguing that State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s actions created “a perception that justice was not served here, that Mr. Smollett received special treatment.”
County prosecutors oppose the move, saying a special prosecutor would duplicate the efforts of the county inspector general’s office.
Foxx’s office dropped all charges against Smollett at an unannounced court hearing in late March, less than three weeks after he was charged with staging an attack on himself.
Smollett also faces a lawsuit from the city of Chicago seeking to recoup the cost of police overtime for investigating the matter.