The Cook County Inspector General’s office is currently investigating just what happened the led to the State’s Attorney’s Office dropping the case against Jussie Smollett. The Empire actor had been indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly filing false reports that he was the victim of a hate crime.
As this investigation goes on, two top members of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx‘s staff have resigned. Chief Ethics Officer April Perry and the chief of the Conviction Integrity Unit Mark Rotert quit, according to NBC Chicago.
A spokesperson did say that the resignations were not related to the Smollett case.
The decision to drop the charges against Smollett in exchange for the forfeiture of his $10,000 in bond money and some form of community service drew the ire of the Chicago police and the mayor’s office. Controversy continued when it was discovered that Smollett’s former defense attorney—who also once served as Michelle Obama‘s chief of staff—discussed the case with Foxx.
Foxx’s office said that she was going to recuse herself from the case to avoid the appearance of any conflicts of interest. That ended up not being the case. Instead of having a judge appoint a special prosecutor, which would have ended Foxx’s office’s handling of the matter, Foxx simply put her first assistant in charge. Her office later claimed that when it was said Foxx was recusing herself, it was not meant in the “legal sense,” but just colloquially, as Foxx herself was going to stay out of it.
Even that turned out not to be entirely true. Text messages that were recently disclosed showed that as the case was going on, Foxx sent messages giving her opinion on the matter, and offering general thoughts about how the case should be handled.
[Image via Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images]