Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said Friday that she disagreed with a judge's decision to appoint a special prosecutor but vowed to "remain committed to transparency."
"I am pleased that the court agreed there was no conflict of interest here," Foxx said in an emailed statement. "Regarding recusal, I followed the advice and counsel of my then Chief Ethics Officer."
"In any event, I respectfully disagree with the court's conclusion that, in the absence of any conflict, the appointment of a special prosecutor is required," Foxx continued, adding, "As always, I remain committed to transparency, justice, and the public safety of the communities we serve."
Her statement was in response to Judge Michael Toomin's ruling earlier that day to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the handling of the case surrounding "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.
Toomin ruled in favor of a special prosecutor after Sheila O'Brien, a former appellate judge, called for an investigation into why charges against Smollett were dropped by the Cook County State's Attorney's office.
The ruling state's that a special prosecutor will "conduct an independent investigation of the actions of any person or office involved in all aspects of the case." It notes that "if reasonable grounds exist to further prosecutor Smollett in the interest of justice the special prosecutor may take such action."
The judge indicated in court that Foxx did not have the authority to assign First Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats to prosecute the case following her recusal.
Smollett was accused of falsely reporting what police say was a staged racist and anti-gay attack on himself in January in Chicago. The charges were dropped in March.
Separately, Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard is investigating how Smollett's case was handled.
"I think it will give all of us answers but the most important thing is that, as the judge indicated, the confidence in our judicial system will be restored," O'Brien said.
When asked why she filed for a special prosecutor in the case, O'Brien said "because it had to be done and no one had done it."
"Somebody had to do it and I had time and a typewriter so here we are," she said, later adding that she has "no role after this."