Chicago Says Smollett Has Refused to Pay Up

City is taking Empire actor to court
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2019 3:26 AM CDT
Chicago Is Taking Jussie Smollett to Court
In this March 26, 2019 photo,actor Jussie Smollett smiles and waves to supporters before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Chicago says it is taking Jussie Smollett to court for refusing to cough up $130,000 to reimburse the city for the investigation of the hate crime he allegedly staged. The city sent the Empire actor a bill last week, saying taxpayers deserved to get the money back. The city threatened legal action under municipal ordinances if Smollett didn't pay by the seven-day deadline, which expired on Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The bill was for hundreds of hours of overtime police clocked up investigating the alleged Jan. 29 attack on the actor. Smollett was later accused of staging the attack and although prosecutors eventually dropped all 16 felony charges against him, they admitted that they believed the attack was a hoax.

Smollett completed two days of community service and agreed to forfeit a $10,000 bond, but still maintained he was innocent. "The Law Department will file the suit in the near future. As part of this legal action, the Law Department will pursue the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance," Chicago Law Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey said in a statement Thursday night. "Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team." The AP notes that a lawsuit could lead to a long battle in civil court, which could result in a trial to determine whether Smollett staged the attack. (More Jussie Smollett stories.)

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