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Report finds ethics violations but no criminal wrongdoing in Kim Foxx’s handling of Jussie Smollett case

A special prosecutor found nothing worthy of criminal charges in his investigation of State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of actor Jussie Smollett’s case, but Dan Webb said he would be reporting possible ethics violations to the Illinois attorney disciplinary board, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Webb’s investigation led to Smollett’s indictment by a Cook County grand jury on charges of disorderly conduct related to alleged false reports that he was the victim of a hate crime in January 2019. Smollett claimed he was attacked by two men who used racial and homophobic slurs and left a noose around his neck, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

The investigation shifted to Smollett himself after two brothers claimed he paid them to stage the attack, and he was charged in February 2019. But the following month, Foxx’s office dropped all the charges against the actor in exchange for the forfeiting of his $10,000 bail and 15 hours of community service.

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The summary of Webb’s report — the full report has not been released because it contains sealed grand jury materials — says that his investigators say Foxx’s office committed “substantial abuses of discretion and operational failures,” compounded by a series of false and contradictory public statements, the Tribune said. The report does not accuse Foxx and her employees of lying but says the office “breached (their) obligations of honesty and transparency.”

Foxx recused herself from the investigation after revealing she had been in contact with Smollett’s family to discuss leaks about the case before he was charged. Webb found no evidence that Foxx’s communications with the family influenced the decision to drop the charges as she had no further discussions with them after he was charged and had handed over prosecution of the case to a deputy.

Webb said that he would be asking Cook County Judge Michael Toomin for a court order to release the full 60-page final report.

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[Featured image: Jussie Smollett leaves court on February 24, 2020, after indictment on new charges/(AP Photo/Matt Marton)]