The city has requested an “immediate payment” of about $130,000 from Smollett in order to pay for the cost of the police investigation, according to a letter from the Chicago Department of Law, acquired by the Daily News.
“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 read.
If Smollett does not pay in a “timely” manner, the Department of Law warned that he may be prosecuted again for “making a false statement to the City.”
Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city’s legal office, told the Daily News that the $130,000 covers overtime hours.
In late January, the “Empire” star claimed that he had been attacked by two people who placed a rope around his neck and used racist and homophobic slurs, as well as referring to “MAGA country.” Weeks later, he was arrested for allegedly filing a false police report after police said that he had staged the attack and paid two brothers to help him.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dismissed all charged against the actor Tuesday, to the consternation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
“My personal opinion is that you all know where I stand on this,” Johnson told reporters at a press conference. “Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology.”
Emanuel said that the dismissal will “cast a shadow” over future claims of hate crimes.
Smollett’s attorneys pushed back against the city’s attempts to recoup the investigation costs.
“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,” they said in a statement Thursday. “Jussie has paid enough.”
Smollett has maintained his innocence since the beginning.