Chicago demands $130,000 from Jussie Smollett to cover police investigation costs
Smollett's attorney says his defense team won't ask for any records to be destroyed in the actor's case
A city official says Chicago is seeking $130,000 from "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett to cover the costs of the investigation into his reported beating, which police say was staged.
Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city government's legal department, confirmed the amount Thursday, hours after Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city would try to recoup the money it spent on the investigation.
Emanuel and the police department blasted the decision to drop the charges, saying they stand by their belief that Smollett hired two friends to help him stage the attack because he was unhappy about his salary and wanted publicity.
He told WGN radio that taxpayers should get their resources back. Emanuel says if Smollett makes the payment, it would be "a small way of" acknowledging guilt.
Cook County prosecutors on Tuesday dropped all of the charges against Smollett, who was accused of lying to police about being the victim of a homophobic and racist attack in downtown Chicago on Jan. 29.
Smollett has maintained throughout that he is innocent. His attorney Patricia Brown Holmes says his defense team won't ask for any records to be destroyed in the actor's case.
Holmes said that Smollett's defense team supports "the court files being preserved" in the now-sealed criminal case that accused the actor of filing a false police report.
Cook County prosecutors offered little explanation when they dropped felony charges against the actor on Tuesday. But they still insist the actor faked a racist, anti-gay attack on himself in January.
During a court hearing earlier Thursday, Cook County Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr. said there was "no possibility" the records related to Smollett's case would be destroyed. He said: "In Cook County, we don't destroy records."
Prosecutors said during the hearing that they'd notify media outlets if Smollett's lawyers try to expunge his record. Holmes said Smollett "has not and will not file a motion for destruction of any records."