Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Friday, December 6, 2019

Foxx’s non-recusal in Smollett case should void dismissal of charges, claims Wirepoints founder


By Glenn Minnis | Mar 28, 2019

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The Jussie Smollett case keeps getting stranger by the minute, with word now circulating that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx never formally recused herself from the case as has been widely reported.

In a statement, Cook County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Kiera Ellis now contends that  Foxx “did not formally recuse herself or the [State’s Attorney's] Office based on any actual conflict of interest. As a result, she did not have to seek the appointment of a special prosecutor.” 

In the mind of Wirepoints founder Mark Glennon, that could ultimately make a world of difference to what actually comes out of the dramatically topsy–turvy proceedings. 

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx

“Contrary to countless press reports, Kim Foxx now reportedly did not formally recuse herself,” Glennon wrote on his website. "Had she done so, Illinois law would have required appointment of a special prosecutor or independent person to replace her and her office. That didn’t happen. It therefore appears that her office had no authority to maintain control of the case and to dismiss charges against Smollett. That means the dismissal was probably unauthorized and should be annulled.”

Soon after Smollett was charged with staging the hate crime he reported in January, Foxx communicated with representatives of the “Empire” actor about recusing herself from the case. But the recusal never formally occurred, according to Ellis, explaining that “it was a colloquial use of the term rather than in its legal sense.”

Glennon sees it differently. 

“In other words, by not formally recusing herself, Foxx circumvented the law that probably would have taken the case out of her office’s hands,” he wrote. “I will defer to other lawyers, but it certainly appears to me that her office therefore had no authority to maintain control over the case and to dismiss the charges, so the dismissal should be voided and the prosecution reinstated by an independent prosecutor.”

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