* The Cook County State’s Attorney and her employees ought to realize that these official communications are publicly accessible under the Freedom of Information Act. The fact that they are chatting like it’s a private conversation says almost as much about them as the substance of the conversations…
Just after news broke that “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett had been indicted on 16 felony counts, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told her top deputy that Smollett was a “washed up celeb who lied to cops” and the number of felony counts he faced was excessive, communications obtained by the Chicago Tribune show.
“Sooo……I’m recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases…16 counts on a class 4 (felony) becomes exhibit A,” Foxx said in a text message to Joseph Magats, her top assistant, on March 8.
Foxx went on in those texts to Magats to compare Smollett’s case to the office’s pending indictment of R&B singer R. Kelly on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16 (counts),” she wrote. “… Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should.” […]
When asked why the state’s attorney continued to communicate about the case after her withdrawal, a spokeswoman issued a statement Tuesday night on Foxx’s behalf saying she reached out to Magats only “to discuss reviewing office policies to assure consistencies in our charging and our use of appropriate charging authority.”
There’s no doubt in my own mind that Smollett was ridiculously over-charged. And the comparison to the number of charges against R. Kelly has some merit.
But, wow. If you have something to say that might not look so great splashed all over the front page of the Chicago Tribune, maybe just walk down the hall.
* Black Caucus: We will continue to stand with State’s Attorney Foxx