In light of the Cook County’s State’s Attorney’s decision to drop all charges against Jussie Smollett, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking matters into his own hands.
Emanuel, who called the state’s attorney’s actions a “whitewash of justice,” has sent Smollett a bill for over $130,000. That’s the price it cost the city to conduct an investigation into Smollett’s “false statements to police, thereby diverting resources from other investigations and undermining the criminal justice system,” a letter to Smollett reads. “Over two dozen detectives and police officers participated in the investigation, ultimately spending weeks investigating your false claims, including a substantial number of overtime hours.”
The city is giving Smollett seven days to respond; if he fails to pay, the city will take him to civil court, where Smollett could be forced to pay three times the amount of damages the city is initially seeking. If it were to go that direction, Smollett’s allegations would be fully litigated under oath, and a judge would decide whether or not he lied to police.
In March, the 36-year-old Smollett was indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct relating to allegations that he lied to police about being the victim of a hate crime. Following a lengthy investigation, Chicago police concluded that Smollett orchestrated his own attack in an effort to increase his notoriety in the entertainment industry and secure a larger salary on Empire.
However, on Tuesday, prosecutors made a stunning about-face, agreeing to drop all charges against Smollett in exchange for community service and the forfeiture of his $10,000 bond. “We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case,” the Cook County’s State’s Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Beyond Emanuel’s actions, Donald Trump has ordered the Justice Department to “review” the case.