Chicago is reportedly suing “Empire actor” Jussie Smollett after the seven-day deadline came and went for Smollett to pay the Windy City back $130,000 for the hate crime he reportedly faked, wasting taxpayer dollars and police resources.
After all 16 felony counts were sketchily dropped last week against the actor, who police say staged an elaborate racial hate crime against himself and reported it to the police back in January, city officials, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, demanded Smollett reimburse the city the estimated $130,000 it had cost to investigate the crime that never happened.
Smollett, on the other hand, has maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, despite admitting through his attorneys that many of the details in his original story – including the claim that he was attacked by two white men wearing MAGA hats – turned out to be provably false.
“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 statementThursday evening. “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 L.A. based legal team.”
A letter previously sent to Smollett on March 28 reportedly stated that the city can seek more than $390,000 in damages and reimbursements, including court and attorney costs. It’s not yet clear how much the city will be seeking from the actor in their lawsuit.
“The Chicago Police Department conducted an extensive investigation into this report,” the letter read. “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.”
Smollett was released from all charges last week after Cook County State Attorney’s office said he’d agreed to forfeit his $10,000 – a fraction of the cost the city spent investigating his hoax – and did fewer than 20 hours of community service.