Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case

Chicago Sun-Times | 2/23/2019 | Andy Grimm
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State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has asked Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard to review her office’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case.

The request for an investigation by the county’s watchdog agency comes two weeks after Foxx’s office dropped all charges against the “Empire” actor for an alleged hoax hate crime attack, with the actor turning over $10,000 from his bond to the city and making no admission of guilt. The deal, and Foxx, have been blasted by police and prosecutors organizations, and a petitions seeking appointment of a special prosecutor to review Smollett’s case will be heard by Chief Criminal Courts Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr. next month.

Foxx - Access - Office - Smollett - Case

Foxx has promised “total access” to her office to probe the Smollett case, Blanchard said Friday.

“There are to be no restrictions to the work of (the Inspector General’s) office, within the scope of our review,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard - State - Attorney - Office - Years

Blanchard worked in the state’s attorney’s office for 14 years, ending his tenure in 2008 under Foxx’s predecessor, Anita Alvarez, as head of the Special Litigation Bureau.

“Ensuring that I and my office have the community’s trust and confidence is paramount to me, which is why I invited an independent review of this matter,” Foxx said Friday in a statement. “I welcome this investigation and pledge my full cooperation and the cooperation of my office as IG Blanchard conducts his review.”

Letter - Members - Cook - County - Board

In a letter to members of Cook County Board of Commissioners, and Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Blanchard said his office would open an investigation, noting that the state’s attorney, in the past, had objected to oversight from the OIIG on unrelated other issues.

“State’s Attorney Foxx has stated her office will cooperate during the course of this review, notwithstanding prior objections to OIIG jurisdiction,” Blanchard wrote in the letter dated Wednesday.

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