The city of Chicago is getting ready to take Jussie Smollett to court in an effort to recoup the Chicago Police Department's overtime costs that piled up during its investigation of the alleged hate crime he reported.
The city's law department on Thursday evening told ABC 7 Chicago: "The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County" against the Hollywood star. "Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett's L.A. based legal team".
Smollett said he was attacked by two men, who doused him with a chemical and put a noose around his neck in January. "As part of this legal action, the Law Department will pursue the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance".
Earlier in the week, the mayor stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his city's police force, denouncing prosecutors for dropping charges against Smollett and slamming the episode as a "whitewash of justice". He also pointed to broader Foxx policies to not prosecute many lower-level felonies.
Prosecutors abruptly dropped the "Empire" actor's charges in late March, citing the actor's prior community service and his agreement to forfeit his $10,000 bail to the city of Chicago. She said she welcomes a federal review of the Smollett case.
While the chiefs say they speak with one voice against Foxx, African American leaders were conspicuously absent from the stage Thursday.
Protesters organized by the Fraternal Order of Police call for the removal of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx on April 1, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois.
When city raised the issue last week of Smollet reimbursing Chicago, the actor's lawyers said it was city officials "who owe" Smollett "an apology - for dragging an innocent man's character through the mud". The city won't have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Smollett staged the attack in civil court, only that it's more likely true than not true that he did.
On March 8, a Chicago grand jury indicted Smollett on 16 felony counts related to making a false report to police.
Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot could reverse any legal action after she's sworn in May 20.