The four Democrats vying for Cook County state’s attorney butted heads Monday over the best way to use the office to ensure public safety and tackle crime while also pushing systemic reforms to help vulnerable populations during a meeting before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.
But in a wide-ranging interview that touched on how the candidates would use the office to weed out government corruption, stem improper political influence and improve morale in the prosecutors office, the talk kept coming back to Jussie Smollett. More than half of the hourlong meeting — which also touched on transparency and campaign finance, among other topics — centered on current State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the Smollett case and why the 16 charges initially brought against him were dropped.
Notice the passive voice: “the talk kept coming back to Jussie Smollett.”
Vying to lead the prosecutor’s office of a county with more than 500 murders last year, the four Democrats on the March ballot for Cook County state’s attorney faced off Monday in a forum that focused largely on how incumbent Kim Foxx handled charges nearly a year ago in a celebrity scandal.
During the one-hour forum, held by the Chicago Tribune editorial board, the journalists focused the first 30 minutes on Jussie Smollett, the Empire actor charged with faking a hate crime, and a decision by Foxx’s office last March to drop 16 grand jury counts against him.