Decision looms: Keep or replace Smollett special prosecutor?

Posted at 11:14 AM, October 4, 2019 and last updated 7:07 PM, May 18, 2023

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago judge is expected to decide whether to let a former U.S. attorney stay on as special prosecutor examining the dismissal of charges against actor Jussie Smollett.

In this Aug. 23, 2019 photo, former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb takes the oath of special prosecutor before Judge Michael Toomin, during a status hearing concerning actor Jussie Smollett at the Leighton Criminal Court building, in Chicago.(Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

The hearing Friday comes after Dan Webb revealed he co-hosted a fundraiser for Kim Foxx and donated $1,000 to her successful 2016 run for Cook County state’s attorney. He said he hadn’t recalled either until someone recently reminded him.

Foxx’s office in March abruptly dropped charges accusing Smollett of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself.

Judge Michael Toomin may not be inclined to replace the 74-year-old Webb. The prosecutor-turned-star lawyer is a highly respected, even legendary figure in legal circles.

But not replacing Webb for an appearance of a conflict of interest could taint his findings.