Jussie Smollett update: Judge Michael Toomin. who appointed special prosecutor in 'Empire' actor's case, not endorsed by Dems

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
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The judge who ordered a special prosecutor to look into the case of Jussie Smollett is not getting the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The judge who ordered a special prosecutor to look into the case of Jussie Smollett is not getting the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party.

The party is endorsing 60 judges for retention this November. Judge Michael Toomin is not one of them.

In a news release, Toomin claims its retribution for his decision to ask special prosecutor Dan Webb to review the criminal case against the "Empire" actor.

Jussie Smollett case: Timeline of key moments in alleged attack on 'Empire' actor

"I am extremely disappointed by the party's decision to single me out as I seek retention on the November 3rd ballot for reasons that clash with the widely accepted virtues of judicial independence," the judge said in a statement. I've taken great pride in earning the respect of my colleagues, the legal community as well as the citizens of cook county."

Smollett's accused of faking a racist and homophobic attack on himself.

WATCH: Video shows Jussie Smollett with rope around his neck

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it's a bad look for the party.

"I am deeply concerned and I expressed my concern to a number of people that were going to be participating in the vote today that the optics of this are terrible," Mayor Lightfoot said. "It looks like retaliation."

Leslie Hairston, vice chair of the Judicial Retention Committee for the Cook County Democratic Party, said in a statement that, "Judge Toomin is out of touch and leading our juvenile justice system with an outdated 'scared straight' approach to our children."

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