CHICAGO (CBS) — The former judge who successfully fought for a special prosecutor to investigate Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case is now asking a Cook County judge to order her to stop using taxpayer funds for outside attorneys to help her in the probe.
According to published reports, Foxx’s office has retained former federal judge Ruben Castillo and a team of attorneys from law firm Akerman LLP to aid her as special prosecutor Dan Webb investigates the entire Smollett case.
Retired Illinois appellate judge Sheila O’Brien, who requested the special investigation of the Smollett case, has now filed a petition asking a Cook County Judge Michael Toomin to issue a cease and desist order barring Foxx’s office from using tax money to hire outside counsel to represent her in the probe.
“The hiring of outside counsel in defense of the Office of State’s Attorney is not provided by the Illinois statutes,” O’Brien wrote in her petition. “Kim Foxx, in her role as State’s Attorney, has a clear duty to comply with the Illinois statutes.”
O’Brien’s petition asks Toomin to issue an order that Foxx “cease and desist from retaining outside counsel with a cost to the taxpayers to defend her in this cause.”
In a statement, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said, “We are reviewing the matter and continue to cooperate fully with the office of the special prosecutor.”
Last August, Toomin appointed Webb – a former U.S. Attorney for Chicago – to investigate Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case, including her office’s decision to drop disorderly conduct charges against him, after he’d been accused of orchestrating a hate crime against himself.
Webb also was tasked with investigating the case against Smollett, and possibly filing new charges against him if necessary.