The city of Chicago has filed a civil complaint against Empire-actor Jussie Smollett due to his refusal to repay the city for the cost of the resources utilized to investigate his allegedly-false hate crime attack.

The complaint against Smollett was filed on April 11th by The City of Chicago’s Law Department after Smollett failed to voluntarily reimburse the city $136,105.15 by April 4th, 2019. In the full complaint, which has been provided courtesy of ABC7 Chicago, the City of Chicago claims that Smollett not only perpetrated the now-infamous attack himself, but that he willingly provided false statements and filed a false police report during the course of the investigation:

“This action  is  brought  by  the  City  to  recover  civil  penalties, statutory treble damages, and attorney’s fees and costs arising from Defendant’s false statements to the City. On January 29, 2019, Defendant submitted a false police report claiming that he was the victim of a racist  and  homophobic beating by  unknown  attackers. In reality, Defendant knew  his  attackers and orchestrated the purported attack himself.  Later, when police confronted him with evidence about  his  attackers,  he  still  refused to  disclose  his  involvement  in  planning  the  attack. In investigating Defendant’s false statements and false police report, the City incurred  significant costs in order to provide services reasonably related to Defendant’s conduct.”

The lawsuit aims to sue Smollett for the full cost of the investigation on two counts, one regarding his violation of the City’s False Statements Ordinance (FSO), due to Smollett repeatedly providing false statements to authorities, which reads:

“[a]ny person who knowingly makes a false statement of material fact to the city in violation of any statute, ordinance or regulation, or who knowingly makes a false statement  of  material  fact  to  the  city  in  connection  with  any  application,  report, affidavit,  oath,  or attestation,  including  a  statement  of  material  fact  made  in connection  with  a  bid,  proposal,  contract  or  economic  disclosure  statement  or affidavit,  is  liable  to  the  city  for  a  civil  penalty  of  not  less  than  $500.00  and  not more than $1,000.00, plus up to three times the amount of damages which the city sustains because of the person’s violation of this section. A person who violates this section shall also be liable for the city’s litigation and collection costs and attorneys’ fees.”

The other complaint notes that Smollett violated the City’s Cost Recovery Ordinance (CRO) due to his refusal to pay back the city for the costs of the investigation:

“The CRO provides that “[a]ny person who causes the city or its agents to incur costs in order to provide services reasonably related to such person’s violation of any federal, state or local law, or such person’s failure to correct conditions which violate any federal, state or local law when such person was under a legal duty to do so, shall be liable to the city for those costs.”  MCC § 1-20-020.65. Under the CRO, “‘costs’ includes  all  costs  of  the  city  incurred  in  relation  to  the provision  of  services  by  the  city  or  its  agents,  regardless  of  whether  the  city  would  have otherwise  incurred  those  costs,  including  but  not  limited  to  wages  and  benefits  of  personnel involved in providing such services, reasonable costs of equipment used in the provision of such services,  costs  of  materials  expended  in  providing  such  services,  costs  of  storing  hazardous  or any  other  materials  recovered  during  the  course  of  providing  such  services,  or  any  other  costs allocable to the provision of services.” MCC § 1-20-010.”

“In addition, “[i]n any action brought under [the CRO], the City of Chicago shall also be entitled to recover a penalty in an amount equal to the city’s litigation and collection costs and attorney’s fees.”MCC § 1-20-060.”

Last week, Smollett’s attorney, Mark Geragos, stated that if any civil action were taken against Smollett, he would demand for the full investigation file, records, and hearings to be made available to the public:

“If, despite the deficiencies above, you file a civil action against Mr. Smollett, please be advised that in addition to raising the appropriate legal defenses, 1) we will demand the prompt production of the entire investigation file in this matter, including the full discovery from the criminal action which was never provided to the defense; 2) we will demand that you promptly produce for deposition Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Abimbola Osundairo, Olabinjo Osundairo, and attorneys Gloria Schmidt and Jorge Rodriguez; and 3) we will seek to have all records and hearings on this matter be open to the public.”

Smollett continues to proclaim his innocence and continues to assert that he was a true victim of a hate crime. If the lawsuit moves forward, records pertaining to Smollett’s involvement and the investigation could be made public, which could provide trouble for Smollett if he was responsible for orchestrating the hoax attack.

When asked for a statement on the City’s filing of the complaint against Smollett, a member of his legal team simply responded “No comment.”

What do you think about the city of Chicago suing Jussie Smollett?

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.