Time’s up for Jussie Smollett with Chicago.
Thursday was the deadline for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to pay up the $130,000 that he cost the city of Chicago while they investigated his false hate crime.
While the 16 felony counts of false reporting were dropped against him and there apparently was some form of agreement that he forfeit his $10,000 bond, the police and the Mayor said that he was not exonerated and that they were still holding him responsible for the time and money the city spent on the case which Mayor Emanuel said was far more than $10,000.
The city asked him to pay within seven days last week.
“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.
“Given that he doesn’t feel any sense of contrition and remorse, my recommendation is that when he writes the check, in the memo section, he can put the words, ‘I’m accountable for the hoax,’” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last week.
Emanuel said it wasn’t just about the money, but that he believes Smollett damaged Chicago’s reputation of being a place that welcomes everyone from all walks of life.
Smollett’s lawyers have said that it’s the city that owes Jussie an apology “for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud. Jussie has paid enough.”
The latest word from ABC7’s Rob Elgas is that Smollett has not yet paid up.
We reached out to the city about this and were told “no update at this hour”. https://t.co/Vi1Q1RqDhE
— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) April 4, 2019
According to US:
The Empire star, 36, has “no plans on paying investigative costs being outrageously demanded,” the insider tells Us. Instead, the source suggests that “the Chicago Police Department should be investigating the way this matter was mishandled from the beginning.”
One probably shouldn’t hold their breath expecting him to pay up.
But if he doesn’t pay, they could pursue him in a civil suit which would only require a finding that he was responsible by the preponderance of the evidence, a lower standard than the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. And it would put all the evidence that they have against him out in the court, something he clearly would not want.
On the other hand, Emanuel will be out as mayor on May 20. It remains to be seen what the new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, would think of pursuing an action against Smollett for the money.
And meanwhile the federal investigation looking into the threatening letter is ongoing and the police are also reviewing the handling of the matter by the State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her office.
Author: Nick Arama