A Cook County judge ruled Friday to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate how authorities handled the decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollett. Prosecutors made the move to drop the case against Smollett in late March, less than three weeks after he had been accused of staging an attack on himself in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports. The dropped charges shocked many and prompted former state appellate Judge Sheila O’Brien to push for a special prosecutor, saying the decision created “a perception that justice was not served here, that Mr. Smollett received special treatment.” Judge Michael Toomin made the decision to appoint the prosecutor and said additional charges against Smollett or others could be filed depending on the investigation. The Cook County Inspector General’s Office is also currently investigating the matter, causing many county officials to oppose the appointment of a special prosecutor, saying it would duplicate the already-existing investigation. Smollett is still facing a lawsuit from the city of Chicago, and his attorneys are being sued for defamation.
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