Jussie Smollett could now face new charges over the infamous Chicago street attack after a Chicago judge appointed a special prosecutor to probe the case.
The special prosecutor will review the way previous prosecutors handled the case and ultimately dismissed it.
“If reasonable grounds exist to further prosecute Smollett, in the interest of justice the special prosecutor may take such action,” the judge stated, adding that “unprecedented irregularities identified in this case” warranted a special prosecutor.
The judge also ruled that embattled State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had the right to withdraw from the prosecution but held no legal authority to delegate the job to her top deputy.
And because that top deputy had no legal authority to act, that means the Smollett case zigged its way through the court system without a valid prosecutor, the judge said.
“There was no master on the bridge to guide the ship as it floundered through uncharted waters, and it ultimately lost its bearings,” the judge added. “…The unprecedented irregularities identified in this case warrants the appointment of independent counsel to restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system.”
Smollett could ultimately face new charges, as could anyone else as determined by the court system.
In particular, the special prosecutor will have a “wide mandate” to potentially investigate “the actions of any person or office involved in all aspects of the case,” reported the Chicago Tribune.
“Foxx’s office dropped all charges against Smollett at an unannounced court hearing in late March, less than three weeks after he was charged with staging an attack on himself,” the newspaper reported. “Smollett also faces a lawsuit from the city of Chicago seeking to recoup the cost of police overtime for investigating the matter.”
“His attorneys have been sued for defamation by the two brothers who claim Smollett paid them to help stage the attack. And he will not return to his role on the Fox series Empire.”