CHICAGO — Now that Jussie Smollett has been convicted — with no help from the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx — the attention has returned to her handling of the highly publicized hate-crime hoax.
Foxx repeatedly said she discontinued communications with Smollett’s sister when she was told that the actor became a suspect. However, she continued communicating with her several days after, according to the special prosecutor’s report.
Special prosecutor Daniel Webb’s report, which was released Monday, cites multiple examples from March 2019 and at the end of May 2019 in which Foxx told the media that she stopped communicating with Smollett’s sister. Nevertheless, that is untrue, according to Webb. His report says she sent five text messages to her and talked with her on the phone another three times through Feb. 13, 2019, five days after she claimed she cut off communication, Fox News reported.
Although Webb’s report does not support criminal violations against Foxx, improprieties are another matter. As a result, Webb is going to refer Kim Foxx and her attorneys to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) for ethics violations.
Webb’s report says, “The OSP did develop evidence that establishes substantial abuse of discretion and operational failures by the CCSAO in prosecuting and resolving the Initial Smollett Case.”
Continuing, Webb says there was a breach of its “obligations of honesty and transparency by making false and/or misleading statements to the public regarding the nature and reasons for the dismissal” of the initial case and said it was a “major failure of the operations.”
Smollett’s sister reportedly told investigators that Foxx said, “Your brother should be fine as long as he stays consistent,” the report says. Foxx denied making the comment.
Retired Judge Sheila O’Brien filed the motion as a private citizen to have a special prosecutor assigned to the case. She slammed Foxx, calling her a “liar,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
O’Brien’s legal maneuver was successful, ultimately leading to the actor’s conviction on five out of six charges, including telling a police officer he was a hate crime victim, telling an officer he was a battery victim, and telling a detective he was a hate crime victim.
“Kim Foxx should resign. This report shows she is a liar, that her administration is in chaos and that she’s blaming everyone else,” O’Brien said. “She should resign. Taxpayers deserve better and Ms. Preckwinkle, her mentor, should take no part in replacing Foxx.”
“Cook County Government needs to clean house,” she added.
Monday evening, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office released the following statement saying they disagreed with the findings, Fox reported.
“The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) remains committed to honesty and transparency. Our response remains the same as it was when the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) issued its August 2020 press release. Though State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was not involved with the initial disposition of the Smollett case, she and the CCSAO remain steadfast that the office acted within its broad prosecutorial discretion.
“We respectfully disagree with the OSP’s findings of abuse of prosecutorial discretion. A prosecutor’s discretion is as broad as any in the law, and differences of opinion as to how a case was handled do not signify an abuse of discretion. Finally, it is important to emphasize that the OSP did not find any criminal activity or undue influence on the part of the State’s Attorney or the CCSAO.”