When all charges of making up a fake hate crime, disorderly conduct and filing a false police report were dropped against Hollywood actor Jussie Smollett earlier this year, it seemed like all accountability was lost.
But last night, a special prosecutor was appointed to the case. From local Fox32:
A Cook County judge selected former U.S. attorney Dan Webb to be the special prosecutor overseeing the investigation into the handling of the Jussie Smollett case.The Cook County state's attorney's office charged Smollett in February with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for purportedly orchestrating the incident. A month later, prosecutors dropped all charges with little explanation.
Webb is arguably Chicago's most high-profile defense attorney of the last few decades and has been tapped five times previously to serve as a special prosecutor. Webb gained prominence for his lead role during the Operation Greylord investigations into judicial corruption in Cook County.
Among the options available to Webb would be to restore charges against Smollett, who continues to maintain the January incident wasn't staged.
As a reminder, Smollett claimed he was beat up by two men wearing "Make America Great Again" hats during a polar vortex in February. He told police they put a noose around his neck and yelled "This is MAGA country!" It turns out, Smollett hired two African-American brothers of Nigerian descent to pull off the hoax. When charges were dropped, the Chicago police who worked on the case were furious. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blasted the move.
State Attorney Kim Foxx made the ultimate decision to drop the charges. She's also under investigation.