UPDATE: Chicago wants Jussie Smollett to fork over at least $130,000, the estimated cost of the police probe into his alleged hate hoax.
“The city feels this is a reasonable and legally just amount to help offset the cost of the investigation,” Bill McCaffrey, spokesman for the legal department, said.
A letter from the city’s legal department to Smollett asked for immediate payment of $130,106.15 for overtime hours in the investigation. Legal action was hinted if he did not pay the amount.
“The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department take seriously those who make false statements to the police, thereby diverting resources from other investigations and undermining the criminal justice system,” the letter said. “Ultimately, the Chicago police investigation revealed that you knowingly filed a false police report and had in fact orchestrated your own attack.” .
EARLIER: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn’t let up on either Jussie Smollett or Donald Trump today, suggesting in one long-winded talk to reporters that the Empire actor should write a check to Chicago with “I’m accountable” written on the memo line and that the President should “go to opening day of baseball, sit on the sidelines and stay out of this.”
Emanuel announced his intentions today to have the city’s Law Department determine the cost of the police investigation into what Smollett said was a hate crime but the mayor believes was a hoax. Emanuel wants to bill the actor accordingly.
“Given that he doesn’t feel any sense of contrition and remorse,” Emanuel told a gaggle of reporters in Chicago, “my recommendation is that when he writes the check, in the memo section, he can put the words, ‘I’m accountable for the hoax.'”
Asked by a reporter whether he agrees with President Donald Trump’s tweeted suggestion that the FBI and the Department of Justice “review” the Smollett case, Emanuel clearly didn’t want Trump on his team, opening day or not. Calling Chicago a “Trump-Free Zone,” Emanuel said that the president created the very environment – “toxic” and “hate-filled” – that allowed Smollett to think he could get away with staging a hate crime.
Telling the president to “stay out of this,” Emanuel said Trump and Smollett were part of the same “vicious, toxic cycle and I want to break it.”
Smollett’s legal team today showed no sign that the actor was backing off either, releasing a statement that said, “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. Jussie has paid enough.”