The City of Chicago is Demanding Jussie Smollett Pay $130,000 to Cover Investigation Costs

The city of Chicago is asking Empire star Jussie Smollett to pay $130,000 to cover the costs of the police investigation into a case in which police say he falsely accused two men of attacking him.

In a letter sent from the Chicago Department of Law to the actor’s attorneys, the city asked for the “immediate payment” of $130,106.15 “in an attempt to resolve this matter without further legal action,” according to ABC News.

According to the letter, the police department used more than two dozen detectives and officers participated in the investigation into the actor’s claims.

Police eventually identified the men who allegedly attacked Smollett: two brothers who had previously worked with Smollett. The brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, ended up telling investigators that they worked with Smollett to stage the attack and were paid by the actor.

“Ultimately, the Chicago police investigation revealed that you knowingly filed a false police report and had in fact orchestrated your own attack,” the letter states.

“The city feels this is a legal and reasonable amount to offset the costs of the investigation,” Bill McCaffrey, a spokesperson for the city’s legal office, told BuzzFeed News on Thursday.

According to the city’s municipal code, violation of the false statement ordinance allows the city to collect up to three times the amount of damages the City sustains as a result of the violation. The city can seek to recover “court costs, collection costs, and attorney’s fees.”

The city wants the payment within the next seven days.

Smollett had faced more than a dozen charges for allegedly filing a false police report after he claimed to be the victim of a racist and homophobic attack, but the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office suddenly dropped those charges Tuesday.

“After reviewing the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the city of Chicago, the State’s motion in regards to the indictment is nolle pros,” Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier explained, using the legal term for dropping charges. “We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”

Following the surprising announcement, Smollett told reporters that he had been truthful about the January attack “since day one.”

The state attorney who dropped the charges, however, said the decision to do so was not an exoneration, The Hill reports.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson expressed disappointment and anger at the charges being dropped. Earlier Thursday, Emanuel said city officials would be sending Smollett a bill for the investigation costs.

“[We] will then send a letter to Jussie Smollett and his attorneys trying to recoup those costs,” Emanuel said, adding that the $10,000 bond that Smollett forfeited didn’t “even come close to what the city spent in resources.”

“The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department take seriously those who make false statements to the police, thereby diverting resources from other investigations and undermining the criminal justice system,” the letter to stated.

Smollett’s attorneys, on the other hand, have pushed back on the city’s attempt to recoup the costs.

“It is the mayor and the police chief who owe Jussie — owe him an apology — for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud,” his attorneys said in a statement. “Jussie has paid enough.”

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has announced that the Justice Department and the FBI would be investigating Smollett’s case, USA TODAY reports.