An Illinois judge ruled on Friday afternoon for a special prosecutor to look into the handling of the infamous Jussie Smollett hate crime case.
Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx has received heavy criticism for her handling of the Smollett case.
For those who don’t remember, Smollett is the former star of the television series “Empire” and he claimed he was attacked in Chicago by two Trump supporters wearing Make America Great Again hats. He said the men yelled racist and homophobic things at him while they tried to put a noose around his neck and poured bleach down his throat.
Smollett’s story changed several times in interviews about the attack and two men came forward to confess to being hired by Smollett to fake the entire attack.
Cook County Judge Michael Toomin has now decided that the decision to drop the charges against Smollett — which included filing a fake police report — needs some looking into. The judge said in court that Foxx’s mistake was recusing herself from the case and appointing her own deputy to be in charge of the matter. Toomin says Foxx had no right to choose her replacement.
Foxx recused herself from the case and First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats took over. The criminal charges against Smollett were then dropped with very little explanation. The actor was ordered to do 16 hours of community service and pay a 10,000 dollar fine.
Critics say a state’s attorney from another county should have been appointed in the case to replace Foxx.
Foxx previously said she would be open to an independent probe into her handling of the case by the inspector general, but not a special prosecutor.
A special prosecutor means there is a chance Smollett could be charged again.