City of Chicago Intends to Bill Jussie Smollett for Alleged Hoax Investigation
Mayor Rahm Emanuel also said Donald Trump should stay out of the matter after the president tweeted that he would tell federal authorities to investigate why the charges were dropped.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday said the city plans on billing Empire actor Jussie Smollett for the police investigation into his January report of a hate crime.
"The police are right now finalizing the cost that was used, police resources, to come to the understanding this was a hoax and not a real hate crime," Emanuel said on WGN Radio, according to the Chicago Tribune. "What we spent. The corporation counsel, once they have it finalized and feel good about the numbers, will then send a letter to Jussie Smollett and his attorneys, trying to recoup those costs for the city."
Once police are done tallying all costs, which could go north of six figures, city lawyers will send Smollett a letter calling on him to pay the entire amount, Emanuel said.
"It is a small way of both acknowledging, one, guilt; two, that we spent these resources, and the taxpayers deserve, at minimum — because I think there's a whole other level of ethical costs, because he's still walking around, 'Hey, I'm innocent, everything I said from day one is true' — that actually we're going to get the resources back," he said, according to the Tribune. "But come with those resources is, implicitly, if you pay it, that the city spent money to uncover what the grand jury discovered."
The police department and Emanuel were livid when it was announced earlier this week all charges pertaining to filing a false report brought forth in a 16-count indictment by a grand jury against Smollett had been dropped by Cook County prosecutors. Smollett only forfeited his $10,000 bond.
Smollett was accused of orchestrating a Jan. 29 attack. Police said he did so to further his acting career. Smollett and his lawyers vehemently maintain his innocence.
Emanuel on Thursday also said Donald Trump should stay out of the matter after the president tweeted that he would tell federal authorities to investigate why the charges were dropped.
"The fact is, you're a guy — I take umbrage that you have a person sitting in the Oval Office who drew a moral equivalency in Virginia between those who were fighting bigotry and those who were perpetuating bigotry," Emanuel said of Trump and his "very fine people on both sides" reaction to the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.