Retired justice seeks special prosecutor probe of Foxx in Smollett case

Justice Sheila O’Brien | Loyola Univ. Chicago

Former Illinois Appellate Court Justice Sheila O’Brien today said she will personally petition the courts to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett false hate crime case.

“This is exhausting, but it has to be done,” O’Brien said this morning in an op-ed published by the Chicago Tribune. “We deserve answers. We deserve open court files. We deserve transparency in every case.”

O’Brien, 63, retired from the First District Appellate Court in 2011 after 16 years of service. She previously served nine years as an Associate Judge. Before rising to the bench, she worked as an assistant public defender, trial lawyer, and instructor a the St. Louis University Law School.

“We deserve a state’s attorney who will treat the rich and the poor the same — not someone who will make decisions based upon who calls on the phone about it,” O’Brien wrote. “We deserve a state’s attorney who will tell us what is happening — not seal the file so we can’t read it.”

“Does our state’s attorney prosecute people who break into our homes or rob us with guns or knives? We need an answer — and it’s shocking that we even have to ask,” she continued.

“This is a fight worth fighting — for us, our children and our system of justice. The rule of law is why people fought and died for our country, so the least we can do is fight for some answers.

“Let’s get what we are paying big taxes for,” O’Brien closed, “The truth. The whole truth. Under oath. Let’s get it.”

Late Friday, Foxx penned her own op-ed for the Tribune in which she again changed her story about why she handled the case as she did.  Foxx said she would welcome an outside review. Sounds like she may get it.
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