Sign up for a daily newsletter defining what matters in business and markets

Stories

Chicago to sue Smollett over refusal to pay $130K for investigation

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett with his attorney Tina Glandian in court last month in Chicago.
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett with his attorney Tina Glandian in court last month in Chicago. Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/AFP/Getty Images

The city of Chicago announced on Thursday it will be filing a civil lawsuit "in the near future" against embattled "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, after he refused to reimburse the city $130,000 to cover the costs of the probe into what authorities said was staged hate crime hoax.

Details: Smollett missed Thursday's deadline to submit the payment officials demanded in a letter on March 28. Mayor Rahm Emanuel had said the city would seek to recoup the money it spent on the probe after Cook County prosecutors abruptly dropped 16 felony counts last month against Smollett for making a false report when he claimed he was the victim of a racist, anti-gay hate crime on Jan. 29.

Statement issued by Bill McCaffrey, City of Chicago Department of Law:

"Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019. The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team.
"The Law Department will file the suit in the near future. As part of this legal action, the Law Department will pursue the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance.
"The City of Chicago and Chicago Law Department will not have any further comment at this time."