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Chicago Sends Smollett a Bill for Police Investigation Costs

To the tune of $130K
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2019 5:21 PM CDT
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson appear at a news conference Tuesday in Chicago.   (Mitch Armentrout/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
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(Newser) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants actor Jussie Smollett to pay one way or another for allegedly falsely claiming he was the victim of a hate crime. Emanuel wanted Smollett, who was indicted on 16 counts, to face trial, but prosecutors dropped the charges. So Chicago police added up the costs of the investigation and sent Smollett a bill for $130,106.15 the Tribune reports. Repaying the city would acknowledge wrongdoing, Emanual said. "It is a small way of both acknowledging, one, guilt, two, that we spent these resources and the taxpayers deserve" the money back, he said. Smollett's deal with prosecutors called for him to perform two days of community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond. It's not clear what will happen if he refuses to repay the city, but the letter sent to the actor indicates the city can take legal action under Chicago's municipal code.

Emanuel got specific about the Empire actor can repay the city. "In that memo section (of the check), he can write, 'I'm sorry and I’m accountable for what I’ve done,'" the mayor said, per USA Today. But Smollett's lawyers responded to Emanuel's plan in the negative: "It is the mayor and the police chief who owe Jussie—owe him an apology—for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud." Meanwhile, in another statement, Michelle Obama's former chief of staff tried to explain her involvement in the case, the AP reports. Tina Tchen said she knows both Smollett's family and the prosecutor. She said she tried to put the state's attorney in touch with the family over "concerns about how the investigation was being characterized in public." (President Trump wants the FBI and the DOJ to stay on the case.)

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