A Chicago judge on Friday named a special prosecutor to look into why state prosecutors abruptly dropped charges against actor Jussie Smollett that accused him of staging a racist, anti-gay attack against himself.
Cook County Judge Michael Toomin’s appointment of former U.S. attorney Dan Webb raises the possibility that the special prosecutor could bring new charges against the former “Empire” actor. Smollett, who is black and gay, maintains that the January attack was real and wasn’t staged.
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office charged Smollett in February with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for purportedly orchestrating the incident. However, it dropped all of the charges a month later with little explanation, angering city officials and the police.