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Report cites ‘major failure’ in prosecutor’s office over handling of Jussie Smollett case

A special prosecutor’s report released on Monday showed that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Illinois engaged in what the report called “substantial abuse” in the 2019 case concerning Jussie Smollett.

The actor said he was attacked by two men in a racist, homophobic incident in the early morning hours. Earlier this month, a jury found Smollett guilty of lying to police about the incident. Webb had brought charges against him last year which included six counts of disorderly conduct. 

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb of Cook County released the report stating that Kim Foxx’s state’s attorney’s office experienced “substantial abuses of discretion and operational failures” during the investigation of the assault and hate crime as alleged by Smollett.

The report came as a result of an investigation into why all charges against Smollett were dropped in March 2019, a month following his arrest. Findings were based on 43 interviews as well as 26,000 other documents.

According to Webb, Foxx and the office made “false and/or misleading statements” regarding the reason the charges were dropped, which left Smollett with only 15 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine as his punishment. 

Foxx recused herself from Smollett’s investigation after false claims emerged suggesting that she and Smollett were related. Instead, Webb’s findings said Foxx made misleading statements about the communication she had with Smollett’s sister, fellow actress Jurnee Smollett.

While the report did not encourage any criminal charges, it did say that actions taken “may rise to the level of a violation of legal ethics by State’s Attorney Foxx and the CCSAO lawyers relating to false and/or misleading public statements made about the prosecution and resolution of the Initial Smollett Case.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: KDH NEWS

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