AceShowbiz - Special Prosecutor Dan Webb uncovered "substantial abuses of discretion and operational failures" in the handling of Jussie Smollett's legal case.
In January 2019, the "Empire" star made headlines for supposedly staging alleged racist and homophobic attacks against himself. He was indicted on 16 felony counts in March, including one for allegedly filing a false police report.
While criminal charges for disorderly conduct related to the hoax report allegations were dropped, six new felony counts were filed in February (20) after the special prosecutor was appointed to re-investigate the case.
According to Webb's report, he found that Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx and those working with her created false statements at the time the charges were dropped, which didn't hinge on new evidence and "surprised" or "shocked" lawyers who worked in the state's attorney's office.
It also alleged that Foxx's office "breached its obligations of honesty and transparency" by making false and/or misleading statements to the public regarding Foxx's recusal from the case, and the extent of Foxx's communications with Smollett's sister, actress Jurnee.
He continues to say that Foxx and her staff demonstrated potential violations of ethics in their handling of the case. However, the prosecutor could not find anything criminal in Foxx's handling.
Mark Geragos, Smollett's attorney, responded to Webb's report. He wrote that the report confirms that "there was no wrongdoing or undue influence by Jussie" or his dismissal.
Calling the report "a blatant attempt to take down a black, progressive, female prosecutor who does not fit within the white power structure," he added, "Jussie, a black, gay man who maintains his innocence, continues to be used as a pawn."
Meanwhile, officials at the state's attorney's office said they "categorically rejects the report's "characterisations of its exercises of prosecutorial discretion and private or public statements as 'abuses of discretion' or false statements to the public."
They added they have already made "a number of changes" to its operations, such as hiring a new ethics officer and clarifying its recusal plan.