This post, News Scan,  by Michael Rushford, first appeared on  at

Smollett Sprung:  In a unscheduled hearing this morning, Cook County prosecutors agreed to drop the charges for falsely reporting a hate crime by actor Jussie Smollett in exchange for already performed community service and the forfeit of his $10,000 bail.  Charlie De Mar of CBS Chicago reports that while Smollett’s attorney told reporters that no deal had been made with prosecutors in exchange for the dismissal, the state’s attorneys office issued the following statement:  “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case,
including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and
agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this
outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”  Jessica Sager of Fox News reports that at a press conference later today Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Commissioner Eddie Johnson called the dismissal of charges a “whitewash of Justice”  with Emanuel telling reporters “[This case] sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of
influence and power you’ll be treated one way and if youre not you’ll be
treated another way.”   When Smollett was charged, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced that she would recuse herself from the controversial case citing a contact with a Smollett family member which might raised questions about her impartiality.  Sam Charles of the Chicago Sun Times also noted that Vic Henderson, a member of Smollett’s legal team, had contributed to Foxx’s campaign in 2016. 

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