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Chicago prosecutor open to investigation into Smollett case

March 30, 2019
FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2019 file photo, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx speaks at a news conference, in Chicago. Foxx says she’s open to an outside investigation into her office’s decision to drop all charges against Jussie Smollett. In a Friday night, March 29, 2019, op-ed for the Chicago Tribune, Foxx says a review about prosecutors’ decision to dismiss all 16 felony counts against the “Empire” actor would help maintain the “community’s trust.” (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is open to an outside investigation into her office’s decision to drop all charges against Jussie Smollett, the prosecutor wrote in a newspaper editorial.

Foxx said in a Friday night op-ed for the Chicago Tribune that a review about prosecutors’ decision to dismiss all 16 felony counts against the “Empire” actor would help maintain transparency. The dismissal drew an immediate rebuke from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, with the mayor calling it a ”whitewash of justice .”

“I am not perfect, nor is any other prosecutor out there, but ensuring that I and my office have our community’s trust is paramount,” Foxx wrote.

Smollett was accused of faking a racist, anti-gay attack on himself in January.

While Foxx said Tuesday’s decision to drop the charges does not exonerate Smollett, as the actor has claimed, she indicated that some of the evidence made getting a conviction “uncertain.”

“In determining whether or not to pursue charges, prosecutors are required to balance the severity of the crime against the likelihood of securing a conviction,” Foxx wrote. “For a variety of reasons ... my office believed the likelihood of securing a conviction was not certain.”

Police maintain that Smollett staged the attack to promote his career, and Chicago officials have ordered him to pay more than $130,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.

Foxx said Smollett’s “alleged unstable actions have probably caused him more harm than any court-ordered penance could.” But she added that jails should be reserved for those who commit violent crimes.

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Check out the AP’s complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case.