by Sheri Urban
The city of Chicago sent a letter to Jussie Smollett on Thursday demanding the actor pay $130,000 to the city to offset the costs associated with investigating the alleged hate crime hoax he is widely believed to have concocted.
And if he doesn’t pay up…they followed up with a major threat.
“The city of Chicago tells @ABC7Chicago the law department has sent a letter to Jussie Smollett’s legal team asking their client to pay $130,000 to Chicago to offset costs of attack investigation,” local ABC News reporter Rob Elgas reported.
ABC 7 Chicago reports that “the money the city requested in the letter sent Thursday is separate from the $10,000 bond that Smollett forfeited as a condition of the charges against him being dropped.”
“This is a reasonable and legally justifiable amount to collect to help offset the cost of the investigation,” said Bill McCaffrey, a spokesperson for the Department of Buildings.
The Daily Wire reported earlier on Thursday that during an interview with WGN News on Thursday morning, Chicago Democrat Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the city of Chicago was calculating a bill to send to Smollett.
“The police are assembling the cost [of the investigation],” Emanuel said. “They’ll do that and then the corporation counsel of the city of Chicago will communicate to Jussie Smollett and his legal team about recouping that cost in that effort. And, given that he doesn’t feel any sense of contrition and remorse, my recommendation is when he writes the check, in the memo section he can put the word, ‘I’m accountable’ for the hoax.”
Smollett’s legal team continued to portray Smollett as a victim, saying that it was city officials who owed him an apology.
“It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie – owe him an apology – for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud,” Smollett’s team said in a statement. “Jussie has paid enough.”
Smollett’s legal team said on Wednesday that they were “weighing” the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department over the way that the case was handled.
Following the stunning dismissal of the case on Tuesday, Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blasted Smollett at a news conference.
“I’m sure we all know what occurred this morning,” Johnson said. “My personal opinion is that you all know where I stand on this. Do I think justice was served? No.”
“Where do I think justice is?” Johnson continued. “I think this city is still owed an apology. … When I came on this job, I came on with my honor, my integrity and my reputation. And if someone accused me of doing anything that would circumvent that, then I would want my day in court. Period. To clear my name.”
“I’ve heard that they wanted their day in court with TV cameras so America could know the truth,” Johnson added. “And now they chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system.”
Emanuel expressed even more anger, declaring what happened to be “a whitewash of justice.”
“You cannot have, because of a person’s position, one set of rules apply to them and another set of rules apply to everybody else,” Emanuel continued. “In another way, you’re seeing this play out in the universities, where people pay extra to get their kids a special position in universities. Now you have a person, because of their position and background, who’s getting treated in a way that nobody else would ever — (interruption) — that would ever get close to this type of treatment.”
“The city saw its reputation dragged through the mud,” Emanuel added. “This is without of doubt a whitewash of justice and sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power, you’ll get treated one way, other people will be treated another way. There is no accountability in the system. It is wrong, full stop.”
UPDATE: Sources tell 24News that if Smollett won’t pay up, the city is reportedly prepared to file a civil lawsuit. And such a suit would very likely succeed, given that everyone from the police chief and mayor, to the Assistant Prosecutor who dropped the charges saying he is guilty.
This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.