The City of Chicago said last week that it will still go after convicted hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett, a felon, well over $100,000 in costs incurred by the city’s police department during their investigation into the hate crime that he staged on himself.
“The City filed a civil lawsuit against Jussie Smollett to recover costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department investigating what the City believed to be Smollett’s false police reports that he was a victim of a hate crime,” the city said in a statement. “While using a different standard of proof, the jury’s finding of guilt convicting Jussie Smollett of criminal charges stemming from the incident confirms that the City was correct in bringing its civil lawsuit.”
The statement continued, “The City intends to continue to pursue its lawsuit to hold Smollett accountable for his unlawful actions and to demand that he compensate the City for costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department which took his false claims of harm seriously.”
The City of Chicago filed the civil action in 2019 after Smollett refused to reimburse the Chicago Police Department $130,106.15 for its two-week investigation into his staged hate crime.
CNN reported in 2019:
Chicago’s Department of Law noted in the suit that over two dozen police officers and detectives spent weeks working in Smollett’s case, resulting in 1,836 overtime hours. … The complaint asks for a jury trial to determine the amount that Smollett could pay. However, Chicago could ask the actor to pay three times the amount of damages it sustained – more than $390,000 – under a current city code.
Smollett was found guilty on Thursday of five Class 4 felonies for telling police officers and detectives myriad lies from the staged hoax that he tried to blame on purported Trump supporters. A Class 4 felony carries a maximum prison sentence of 3 years per count.
Fox News reported:
Count 1 accused him of telling responding Chicago Police Officer Muhammed Baig at around 2:45 a.m., some 45 minutes after the purported attack, that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said two attackers put a rope around his neck. Count 2 referred to Smollett telling the same officer he was a victim of a battery, describing attackers beating and pouring bleach on him.
Counts 3 and 4 stemmed from Smollett making the same claims but to a different officer, Kimberly Murray, later that morning, just before 6 a.m.
Count 5 accused Smollett of again telling Murray at around 7:15 p.m. that he was the victim of a battery. Count 6 referred to Smollett reporting on Feb. 14, 2019, to detective Robert Graves that he’d been a victim of an aggravated battery.
Speaking with reporters following the verdict, Nenye Uche, lead attorney for Smollett, said that the now-convicted felon was “100 percent confident” that he would be found innocent on appeal.
“We feel 100 percent confident that this case will be won on appeal,” Uche said. “Unfortunately, that’s not the route we wanted but sometimes that’s the route you have to take to win, especially a case where we remain 100 percent confident in our client’s innocence.”
“He’s a human being; he’s disappointed — but I will tell you this: I am very proud of him. I’m very, very proud of him,” he added. “He’s holding up very strong; he’s committed to clearing his name and he’s 100 percent confident that he’s going to get cleared by the appellate court.”