Jussie Smollett case: Two in state attorney's office resign

Lawrence Kim
April 20, 2019

These are the latest in a string of resignations that started about a year ago, a former high-level official in the State Attorney's Office told CBS Chicago.

The decision to drop the charges put a negative spotlight on the State's Attorney, Kim Foxx, who's also serving as the prosecutor in R. Kelly's case.

Foxx consulted with Perry about her communications, and that same day, Perry sent an e-mail to top staffers in the office saying Foxx would recuse herself from the case and appointed Magats to be the acting state's attorney on the matter, e-mails show. Chief Ethics Officer April Perry and the chief of the Conviction Integrity Unit Mark Rotert quit, according to NBC Chicago. The resignations will take effect on May 3, 2019. Perry and Rotert are scheduled to work their last days on the job in May.

He handed in his notice a day before all charges against Empire actor Smollett were dropped.

Police say Jussie Smollett paid Abel and Ola Osundairo to beat him in what he then described as a racist, homophobic attack by two Trump-loving perpetrators.

The city of Chicago sent a $130,000 bill to Smollett demanding he reimburse the city for their troubles.

"(Smollett's case) had absolutely zero percent to do with my decision", Rotert said in a phone interview.

Foxx has said she consulted with Perry when considering what to do after communicating with a relative of Smollett's at a time when the actor was being treated as a victim of a hate crime.

Perry, Rotert's supervisor, hasn't publicly commented on the resignation.

Perry sent a February 13 email notifying staffers that Foxx was "recused" from the case.

Text messages between Foxx and her top deputies released earlier this week in response to Freedom of Information Act requests revealed the state's attorney continued to make her opinions known to her top deputies even after she claimed to have recused herself.

Foxx campaigned and won on an ambitious platform of change that included reducing overcharging offenders, increasing transparency and advancing bail reform.

Meanwhile, it surfaced Thursday night that Perry, the department's chief ethics officer, would be resigning her post as well as Mark Rotert, who worked in the agency's wrongful-conviction department. "Under his tenure, we have vacated the convictions of over 70 wrongfully convicted men and women. I think we have a (unit) that really should be a national model".

"My goal is to promote an accurate review by the [inspector general], followed by a candid conversation with the people of Cook County about the findings of the review", said Foxx in a prepared statement. She invited the Cook County inspector general's office to investigate the case, and the IG confirmed to Fox News that it was.

In at least two text messages, Foxx suggested the 16 felony disorderly conduct counts against Smollett for filing a false police report were too severe. "So..."

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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