Actor Jussie Smollett may have had all charges dropped against him, but the Empire star may still suffer a major hit to his wallet. After he claimed that he was attacked in an incident of racial violence, things ended up turning against him with the idea that he made up the whole thing. During his claims, though, authorities took him seriously and investigated the case, but now, Chicago is asking for money back to cover the costs of that investigation.
Yahoo News is reporting that officials from the city of Chicago want Smollett to pay back at least $130,000 for the cost of the police investigation. They also plan on seeking out charges of making false statements against him which could bring about bigger fines and stiffer penalties.
These statements come from municipal attorneys in Chicago as well as Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
A letter received by Smollett and his attorneys has the city of Chicago stating the $130,000 covers overtime worked by more than two dozen detectives and officers during the investigation. That work included reviewing physical evidence and video as well as conducting interviews.
Despite Smollett stating that he didn’t make up anything and had nothing to do with the attack against him, he did offer to pay back some money to Chicago. That amount, though, is nowhere near what the city believes they deserve.
Breaking: City of Chicago legal dept. asks for $130,000 from Jussie Smollett. Far more than the $10,000 he offered up.— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) March 28, 2019
The $10,000 is what Smollett agreed to forfeit which was the bond money he put up to secure his release from county jail after last month’s arrest.
Chicago states that all of those employees and resources “could have been used for other investigations.”
Throughout this entire situation, Jussie Smollett has maintained his innocence and still states that the attack was real. Despite the case being sealed by the prosecution and all charges being dropped, many still feel as if the public has a right to know what actually happened.
Due to the case being closed and charges being dropped, Chicago officials feel as if something still needs to be done. If Smollett fails to pay back the $130,000, he could be charged with violating a city ordinance which could lead to him owing more money to Chicago.
Smollett states that he was attacked by two masked men who tied a rope around his neck, poured some kind of substance on him, and yelled that he was in “MAGA country.” Of course, that is in reference to the “Make America Great Again” slogan of President Donald Trump who believes the FBI needs to look into Smollett’s case in a deeper fashion.
Mayor Emanuel stated in the letter that once Smollett pays back what he is owed, he can also write “I’m sorry and I’m accountable for what I’ve done.”
Recovering the cost of this investigation is something that Mayor Emanuel believes will bring some sense of justice to the people of Chicago. Many believe that Jussie Smollett received leniency due to being an actor and that other people charged with the crime would not have been treated the same way.