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Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office can keep private lawyers in Jussie Smollett probe, judge rules

Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

And O'Brien, who filed numerous long-shot motions leading up to Toomin's appointment of the special prosecutor, can no longer try to intervene in the Smollett matter without the judge's say-so.

"Although Ms. O'Brien did a service to the county in filing the petition she did ... that ended with the order of the court granting parts of the petition," Toomin said. "She does not have the standing here today to bring any other action."

The Smollett case has drawn national attention and continues to fuel criticism as Foxx faces a reelection fight.

Police concluded that the actor staged the attack near his home in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood last January, hiring two brothers to carry out the hoax while using racist and homophobic slurs and shouting that he was in MAGA country -- a reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan.

Smollett was charged with faking the crime, but Foxx's office abruptly dropped all 16 counts of disorderly conduct with little explanation at an unannounced court hearing.

The legal fallout continues to reverberate. In August, Webb -- a former U.S. attorney -- was named a special prosecutor and given a broad mandate to investigate the case, including looking into if Smollett should again be criminally charged for his actions that night.

 

On Tuesday, the case took a new twist, as Webb announced that his special grand jury had indeed reindicted Smollett on six counts of disorderly conduct. The actor is expected back in court Feb. 24.

Webb's probe of prosecutors' action in the case remains ongoing.

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