Foxx and her office have been under fire for their decision to let Smollett go with a small amount of community service and forfeiture of his $10,000 bond. The Empire actor had been charged with orchestrating an attack on himself in Chicago in order to assume the mantle of victimhood. The city is now suing him in civil court to recover more than $130k it allegedly spent in police overtime hours investigating the case.
“A former prosecutor, Inspector General (Patrick) Blanchard has been conducting independent inquiries for Cook County for over a decade,” Foxx said in a statement. “Ensuring that I and my office have the community’s trust and confidence is paramount to me, which is why I invited an independent review of this matter. I welcome this investigation and pledge my full cooperation and the cooperation of my office as IG Blanchard conducts his review.”
The Cook County Inspector General’s office acts as a watchdog for Cook County government.
Foxx claimed she recused herself from the case after talking with a Smollett relative. However, subsequent revelations indicate that she was put in touch with the family through the offices of Tina Then, a Chicago lawyer and former chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. That led to concerns by some that Foxx’s office was unduly influenced by powerful figures to let Smollett off the hook for his actions.
Foxx has said the decision to drop the charges was something that is frequently done by her office. She has hinted that she believes criticism of the action was racially motivated.