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Judge to consider releasing full report on handling of Smollett case by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx

Judge to consider releasing full report on handling of Smollett case by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx

by MEGAN CREPEAU and JASON MEISNER, Chicago Tribune  |  Published on August 28, 2020

A Cook County judge is slated to hear arguments Friday morning on whether to release a special prosecutor’s full findings from an investigation into State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case.

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb released a summary of his findings last week , concluding that while Foxx and her subordinates abused their discretion and misled the public, their conduct did not rise to the level of criminal wrongdoing.

But Webb said he needed a judge’s permission to release the full report because it contains confidential grand jury material. Judge Michael Toomin, who appointed Webb as special prosecutor, is slated to preside over a hearing on whether to release the document publicly.

Smollett, an actor who was living in Chicago during filming of the television show ’Empire,’ was accused last year of staging a phony hate crime on himself. The case drew international attention and the media firestorm only grew after Foxx’s office abruptly dropped all 16 felony counts against him, then gave shifting and misleading explanations as to why.

In a court filing Wednesday, Foxx’s office asked Toomin to delay the report’s release until her office had a chance to review it, saying they deserve a chance to respond to the “factual inaccuracies” they believe the report will contain. Criticism of Foxx’s handling of the case has fueled calls to replace her in the November election with a Republican challenger, a long-shot bid in heavily Democratic Cook County.

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