After Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s announced that she would no longer be seeking to prosecute Empire actor Jussie Smollett on charges that he made a false report to police in the aftermath of what authorities say was a staged racist and homophobic attack, both a prosecutor in her office as well as a former appellate judge filed petitions to have a special prosecutor appointed to find out why the charges against Smollett were dropped. Now, one of those two petitions has been withdrawn.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Saani Mohammed, a former prosecutor who left the state’s attorney’s office last month, was the first to file a formal request asking for a probe into how Foxx’s office handled the Smollett case. On Monday, he withdrew that petition.
Former Illinois Appellate Court Judge Sophia O’Brien also filed a petition asking for a probe. Her petition—which also includes a request for a judge outside of Cook County to make the decision on whether or not a special prosecutor will be appointed—still stands, and a hearing is scheduled for Thursday. O’Brien has not only subpoenaed Foxx and her chief deputy Joseph Magats, but she has also asked that Smollett be present at the hearing.
In January, Smollett said he was attacked by two men as he walked home from a Subway sandwich shop. He said the attackers hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, put a noose around his neck, physically attacked him and poured a chemical on him.
Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, two brothers who had appeared as extras on Empire and worked as personal trainers for Smollett, later confessed to police they had been paid to fake the attack.
The Cook County Office of the Independent Inspector General launched its own investigation into the case this month, and as the Sun-Times reports, the state’s attorney’s office said earlier this month there would be no further comment on the Smollett case until after that investigation is completed.