CHICAGO (CBS) — A legal eagle is now taking a new look at the Jussie Smollett case.
That legal dynamo: Former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb. And he could bring charges.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar has the story.
Dan Webb is no stranger to high profile cases. He said he plans on using a special grand jury to assist in the investigation and that grand jury could decide if new charges are warranted.
It’s day one on the job as special prosecutor for prominent attorney Dan Webb.
“I’m starting this thing fresh today,” Webb said.
Webb, a former U.S. Attorney, is now tasked with re-examining the handling of the Jussie Smollett case. New charges are possible. It’s the sixth time he’s been tapped as a special prosecutor.
“Do I know exactly what’s going to happen? I don’t. I understand what my assignment is,” Webb said.
Smollett is accused of lying to Chicago police, telling them in January that he was beat up and the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime.
Police body camera video from that night showed a rope draped around the actor’s neck.
“Early on in the case, I will be setting up interviews with certain witnesses that I think are key witnesses that are important to the case,” Webb said.
Charges were suddenly dropped against Smollett by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who faces re-election and now finds herself in the cross-hairs of Webb’s probe.
“I am not going to accept any view of this case from anybody,” Webb added. “I have to examine the evidence. I have to make decisions out fairness based on what evidence is.”
“We now have a special prosecutor and that was the whole reason for me coming to court,” said petitioner Sheila O’Brien.
Once Foxx dropped those charges, O’Brien, a retired judge, had questions and asked for the special prosecutor.
Judge Michael Toomin granted that request, determining that Foxx did not follow procedure when recusing herself from the case.
“This was all about the fairness of the process. Whether the handling of the case was fair,” O’Brien said.
There is no timeline for Webb’s investigation. And it will not cost taxpayers.
“We are not going to charge any fees,” Webb said. “We are going to do the entire matter start to finish pro bono with no fees charged to the tax payers of Cook County.
Webb was selected after there was little interest from public offices and elected officials around the state. Foxx said her office plans to cooperate with the investigation.
To see all of CBS 2’s coverage on the Smollett case, click here.