CHICAGO — The city of Chicago will sue “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to claw back more than $130,000 to cover overtime costs of investigating what authorities say was a staged racist, homophobic attack, the city’s law department announced Thursday.
The city of Chicago corporate counsel, Ed Siskel, sent Smollett a letter a week ago demanding the “Empire” actor pay up the overtime costs within seven days. The deadline expired Thursday evening without Smollett making a payment.
“Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019,” Bill McCaffrey, a city legal department spokesman said in a statement. “The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team.”
A spokeswoman for Smollett’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The Chicago Police Department conducted an extensive investigation into this report,” Siskel says in the letter sent to the Smollett legal team. “Over two dozen detectives and police officers participated in the investigation, ultimately spending weeks investigating the false claims, including a substantial number of overtime hours.”
Foxx resignation calls: Jussie Smollett fallout: Suburban Chicago police chiefs call on prosecutor Kim Foxx to resign
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office announced March 26 that it was dropping charges against Smollett, less than three weeks after he had been indicted for disorderly conduct for filing a police. As part of the deal, Smollett agreed to forfeit $10,000 that he put up in bond money to secure his release after his arrest.
Smollett, who is black and gay, allegedly hired two brothers to stage an assault on him and make it look like a hate crime, police and prosecutors say. The actor told investigators that his attackers yelled homophobic and racist slurs at him as well as screamed “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan.
Police accrued hundreds of hours in overtime as they investigated the Jan. 29 alleged assault before they said they learned that the actor had paid the brothers — men he knew from the “Empire” set — to stage the attack.
The city’s legal department announced the intention to sue as Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx — who has been under fire since her office announced it was dropping charges against Smollett — faced calls to step down Thursday from suburban police chiefs and the Chicago police union.
The heads of three suburban Chicago police chiefs’ associations, which represent dozens of chiefs throughout the area, said Thursday they took “no confidence” votes against Foxx this week.
All three organizations voted for Foxx, who as Cook County State’s Attorney oversees prosecutions in the city of Chicago and inner ring suburbs, to resign.
About 30 suburban police chiefs announced the association's call for Foxx to step down at a news conference organized by the union.
Kevin Graham, the Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police’s president, said that the Smollett case was the last straw in a long list of grievances that members of the city’s 13,000 officer police force have had with how Foxx has carried out her duties since being elected in 2016.
He cited officers’ frustration that Foxx was too frequently allowing suspects who allegedly assaulted police officers to be let go without being charged.
“This didn’t start with Jussie Smollett,” Graham said. “This started when we wanted to try and make sure that when officers received a battery in the performance of their duties that the felony charges would be placed. And we continually had problems getting those charges approved.”
In a statement, Foxx dismissed the police chiefs call for her step down.
“I was elected by the people of Cook County to pursue community safety, prevent harm, and uphold the values of fairness and equal justice,” Foxx said. “I’m proud of my record in doing that, and I plan to do so through the end of my term and, if the people so will it, into the future.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jussie Smollett case: City of Chicago to sue actor over alleged hoax attack