By Joseph Curl- Michael McAuliffe is furious.
McAuliffe is an Illinois state assemblyman from Chicago, and while plenty of other people are condemning “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for making false claims that he was assaulted by two white men who hurled racist and homophobic taunts as they beat him, McAuliffe is taking concrete action.
The assemblyman will soon introduce a bill in the state legislature that would punish film companies for doing business with Smollett in Illinois.
“A lot of valuable Chicago Police Department man hours and resources were wasted chasing down a bogus crime arranged by Smollett,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “A lot of valuable Chicago Police Department (CPD) man hours and resources were wasted chasing down a bogus crime arranged by Smollett,” the Republican said“Hate crimes are serious and so is the time and effort of the CPD. He has cost Chicago a lot more than a $10,000 bond. Smollett should not be able to get anything more from the City of Chicago or Illinois.”
Under the legislation, movies companies would lose tax credits if they employ Smollett.
“Where the City of Chicago is concerned, Jussie Smollett is far from exonerated,” McAullife said. “While the State’s Attorney has chosen not to pursue justice in this case, we need to send a message that Smollett’s actions are not a reflection of the values we have in Chicago and won’t be tolerated. His accusations and lies caused a lot of pain to all Chicagoans.”
Meanwhile, the city of Chicago is also pretty peeved and wants Jussie Smollett to pay for the cost of police investigating the actor’s “false claims” that he was attacked.
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,” city attorney Edward N. Siskel wrote in a letter to Smollett’s team of lawyers.
On January 29, 2019, you made a police report in which you falsely claimed that two men had attacked you while yelling racial and homophobic slurs. The Chicago Police Department conducted an extensive investigation into this report. Over two dozen detectives and police officers participated in the investigation, ultimately spending weeks investigating your false claims, including a substantial number of overtime hours.
As part of this investigation, Chicago police reviewed video and physical evidence and conducted several interviews, expending resources that could have been used for other investigations. Ultimately, the Chicago police investigation revealed that you knowingly led a false police report and had in fact orchestrated your own attack.
In an attempt to resolve this matter without further legal action, the City requires immediate payment of the $130,106.15 expended on overtime hours in the investigation of this matter. Please submit a money order or certified cashier’s check payable to “City of Chicago” to the following address within seven (7) days of the date of this letter. If the amount is not timely paid, the Department of Law may prosecute you for making a false statement to the City … or pursue any other legal remedy available at law.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed, saying Smollett should reimburse the city. “Given that he doesn’t feel any sense of contrition and remorse,” Emanuel said, “my recommendation is that when he writes the check, in the memo section, he can put the words, ‘I’m accountable for the hoax.’ “
“Where is the accountability in the system?” Emanuel said. “You cannot have – because of a person’s position – one set of rules applies to them and another set of rules apply to everyone else. Our officers did hard work day in and day out, countless hours working to unwind what actually happened that night. The city saw its reputation dragged through the mud…It’s not just the officers’ work, but the work of the grand jury that made a decision based on only a sliver of the evidence [presented]. Because of the judge’s decision, none of that evidence will ever be made public.”
The Chicago Tribune reported that the city is often successful in recouping costs.
While stopping short of committing to such a move, Bill McCaffrey, the city’s Law Department spokesman, said the city has “a lengthy and successful track record” of suing to recover funds under a statute that makes people liable for costs incurred by the city to provide services related to their violation of the law.
“It is a small way of both acknowledging, one, guilt, two, that we spent these resources, and the taxpayers deserve, at minimum … that actually we’re going to get the resources back,” Emanuel said in the radio interview.
Emanuel also said the case, as it stands now, “sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power you’ll be treated one way and if you’re not you’ll be treated another way.”
Meanwhile, Smollett’s lawyers blamed Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department. “It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie … an apology — for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud,” a statement from the layers said. “Jussie has paid enough.”