- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 28, 2019

Chicago is seeking $130,000 from actor Jussie Smollett to pay for the investigation into a hate crime police alleged was staged.

Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city government’s legal department, verified the bill Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

The ruling comes hours after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Mr. Smollett should “recoup those costs for the city” following county prosecutors sudden decision to drop charges against the actor.

“Our officers did a great job. They took a crime that was called a hate crime for sexual orientation and for race. They took it seriously. They dedicated their resources to deal with it, to find out who perpetrated it and we found out that the person calling the police was the perpetrator,” the Illinois Democrat said to WGN America.

The Illinois Democrat called the decision “a whitewash of justice” in a press conference Tuesday, sticking to his and the Chicago Police Department belief Mr. Smollett faked the hate crime to help his career.

“It’s Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax. He’s still saying he’s innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department. How dare he. How dare he,” he said.

The actor’s legal representation said in a statement Mr. Smollett is owed an apology from the city for “dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud” and “Jussie has paid enough.”

President Trump said Thursday the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department will review the “outrageous” decision to drop all charges against the actor, an accusation which he has denied.

“FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation,” he tweeted.

Mr. Emanuel said the president is partially to blame for this incident for creating a “toxic environment” in the country.

“The only reason Jussie Smollett thought he could take advantage of a hoax about a hate crime is [because of] the toxic environment that Donald Trump created,” he said, adding Trump creates a “moral equivalency between people who are trying to perpetuate bigotry and those who are trying to fight bigotry.”

Illinois state Rep. Michael McAuliffe also voiced his disdain for the decision to expunge Mr. Smollett’s charges, saying Thursday he will submit legislation this week that would eliminate tax credits for TV or film production companies hiring Jussie Smollett in Chicago.

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