Dropping of Charges in Jussie Smollett Case to Be Investigated by Special Prosecutor
WENN/Joseph Marzullo

Nearly two months after the former 'Empire' star walked free from custody over his alleged false police report, Judge Michael Toomin suggested that State's Attorney Kim Foxx had mishandled his case.

AceShowbiz - A Chicago, Illinois judge has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate why disorderly conduct charges against "Empire" star Jussie Smollett were dropped.

The actor was indicted on 16 counts after it was alleged by city police officials that he had staged a hate attack on himself for publicity, claiming two masked men beat him up outside his apartment in the city and put a rope around his neck while yelling racial and homophobic slurs on January 29.

Less than a month later, Jussie was charged by police with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report, but he walked free from custody on March 26 after all charges against him were dropped.

City officials have since sued the actor for the cost of the investigation into his alleged false claims, and on Friday, June 21, Judge Michael Toomin suggested that State's Attorney Kim Foxx had mishandled the case by passing it to a colleague.

In his order, obtained by TMZ, Judge Toomin writes, "If reasonable grounds exist to further prosecute Smollett, in the interest of justice the special prosecutor may take such action."

He added that Foxx did not have legal authority to turn the case over to another prosecutor in her office.

Foxx has responded to the judge's decision, stating, "I respectfully disagree with the court's conclusion that, in the absence of any conflict, the appointment of a special prosecutor is required. As always, I remain committed to transparency, justice, and the public safety of the communities we serve."

The drama cost Smollett his role on "Empire", with the show's creator, Lee Daniels, recently confirming the actor wouldn't be be part of the show's sixth and final season.

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