The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s request to dismiss charges that accuse him of staging a racist, homophobic attack in Chicago against himself, The Daily Caller reports.
The court ruled Friday that Smollett can be charged with inventing a hate crime hoax. The actor also wanted the special prosecutor in his case removed but the court rejected that request too.
Smollett’s lawyers argued that Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin overstepped his authority and misinterpreted the law when he ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor to assess Smollett’s actions.
The court offered no explanation for its decision to dismiss Smollett’s request.
Last year, Cook County prosecutors charged Smollett with 16 counts of disorderly conduct based on the actor reporting an alleged hoax to police. Prosecutors then suddenly dropped the case with little explanation, leaving Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson furious.
“I’m offended by what has happened, and I’m also angry. I love the city of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, warts and all. But this publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn and certainly didn’t deserve,” Johnson said in February 2019. “When that didn’t work, Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud in the process.”
Those charges were dismissed by Toomin but a second investigation by special prosecutor Dan Webb resulted in Smollett being charged again with six counts of disorderly conduct.
Smollett continues to show no remorse and continues to maintain his innocence, he pleaded not guilty last week.
“My client from the beginning has maintained his innocence and disputed the city’s allegations,” William J. Quinlan of The Quinlan Law Firm, told the Chicago Sun-Times.