The City of Chicago is preparing to sue Empire actor Jussie Smollett for the $130,000 the city spent on the investigation of his hoax hate crime early this year.
The city sent a bill for the investigation after the Obama-connected Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, mysteriously dropped all charges against Smollett after his indictment on over a dozen felony charges.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent the bill to Smollett’s lawyers on May 28 giving the actor a week to pay the debt.
Smollett ignored the demand and now the city is preparing to find other means to force him to pay the bill.
On Thursday, Windy City authorities said they would be filing a civil action against Smollett to recover the cash.
“The municipal code stipulates that the city can triple the amount originally demanded if someone fails to pay an initial amount. That means the city could demand more than $390,000 from Smollett,” Chicago’s NBC affiliate reported.
Not only has Smollett refused to pay the bill, he has publicly claimed that the city owes HIM money for accusing him of a hate crime hoax.
The civil action won’t be the only thing the city does over the Smollett case.
On Tuesday, a new mayor was elected in the Windy City and that new mayor has said that one of the first things she will do is launch an investigation to find out just why Kim Foxx so mysteriously dropped all the charges against the actor.
In an interview with MSNBC Wednesday, newly elected Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she intended get to the bottom of the Smollett case, and suggested that Smollett needs to be “held accountable.”
“The State’s Attorney’s office here which made the decision unilaterally to drop the charges has to give a much more fulsome explanation,” Lightfoot said on Thursday.
“We cannot create the perception that if you’re rich or famous or both that you got one set of justice and for everybody else, it’s something much harsher. That won’t do, and we need to make sure that we have a criminal justice system that has integrity,” she added. “The state’s attorney’s office has to provide more information about the rationale for the decision to drop the charges.”
“I saw … a very compelling case,” Lightfoot, herself a former federal prosecutor, said adding, “with videotapes, witness statements, and other information that looked like he had staged a hoax. And if that happens, he’s got to be held accountable.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.