Cook County’s State’ Attorney Kim Foxx’s woes continue as retired appellate judge Sheila O’Brien filed a petition for a special prosecutor to investigate Foxx’s office over the Jussie Smollett case. Foxx received a subpoena to appear in court along with her top deputy Joseph Magats.

This news comes after one Cook County judge slammed Foxx for her double standards after her office prosecuted one woman for filing a false report. Those are the same charges Foxx’s office dropped against Smollett.

Subpoenaed

Smollett faced 16 felony counts after the Chicago Police Department determined he staged the racist and homophobic attack on himself on January 29.

I blogged last week about how Foxx continued to communicate with her team on the Smollett case after she recused herself. Texts with Magats showed how she called the 16 felony accounts against Smollett “excessive.” She wrote to Magats:

“Sooo……I’m recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases…16 counts on a class 4 becomes exhibit A,” Foxx wrote to Magats on March 8.

“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16. On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it’s indicative of something we should be looking at generally. Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should,” she added, referring to the case of R&B singer R. Kelly, who was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in connection with four women, three of whom were underage.

Now O’Brien wants a special prosecutor to investigate Foxx’s office. From The Chicago Sun-Times:

“Foxx’s conflict in this matter is beyond dispute,” O’Brien wrote, adding that Foxx should have sought appointment of a special prosecutor. “Instead, Foxx misled the public into believing that Smollett’s case was handled like any other prosecution and without influence.”

Emails and text messages turned over to the Chicago Sun-Times, in response to a records request, showed that weeks before Smollett was charged, and when the actor was considered by police to be a crime victim, Foxx had talked to Chicago lawyer Tina Tchen, who put her in touch with a relative of Smollett’s. Foxx also acknowledged urging CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson to turn the investigation over the the FBI.

O’Brien also wants a judge outside of Cook County to “decide her request for a special prosecutor.”

The Chicago Tribune reported that “Smollett’s attorneys have objected to the petition” since “special prosecutors may be appointed only if cases are still pending.” They also stated that O’Brien’s petition “would duplicate the efforts of the county inspector general’s office, which already is conducting a review of the prosecution.”

Double Standard

We all knew something was fishy about Foxx’s office dropping the charges against Smollett out of nowhere. It turns out the double standard exists.

Cook County Judge Marc Martin presided “over an unrelated case” when he took shots at “Foxx and her office for creating a situation where anyone charged with filing a false report would expect the same leniency her office afforded Smollett.”

It turns out they don’t. Candace Clark, 21, faces one felony charge of making a false police report…the same charges Smollett faced. From FOX 32:

According to a transcript obtained by FOX 32, Judge Martin hammered prosecutors, asking, “I’d like to know why Ms. Clark is being treated differently than Jussie Smollett. It’s a disorderly conduct case. A lot less egregious than Mr. Smollett’s case. I have a problem with it.”

Prosecutors were demanding that Clark make full restitution of $2,800 and serve deferred prosecution, something not required of Smollett.

“Ms. Clark is not a movie star, she doesn’t have a high-priced lawyer,” said Judge Martin. “And this smells big time. Your office created this mess. There’s no publicity on this case. Press gets ahold of this; it’ll be the newspaper.”

Two Deputies Resigned

Foxx already lost two important people in her office: Ethics office April Perry and Conviction Integrity Unit Director Mark Rotert. Both submitted their resignation letters last week.

Foxx said that Perry was the one within the office that urged her to recuse herself from the case.

Rotert told The Chicago Sun-Times that his decision to resign “had absolutely zero percent to do” with the Smollett case. Perry never responded to the media’s request for comments.

 
 
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