City of Chicago Corporate Counsel, which represents the city of Chicago, said in a letter on March 28 that if Smollett does not repay them, he faces faces prosecution by the Department of Law and a fine of no less than $500 and a maximum of $1,000, "plus up to three times the amount of damages the city sustains as a result of the violation".
"The Law Department has filed a civil complaint against Mr. Smollett in the Circuit Court of Cook County that pursues the full measure of damages allowed under the false statements ordinance".
Mayor Rahm Emanuel then had the city's Law Department send Smollett a letter titled "Re: Repayment of Investigation Costs for False Police Report", requiring "immediate payment of the $130,106.15 expended on overtime hours in the investigation of this matter".
According to TMZ, the City could ask for more than half a million dollars in payment from the lawsuit, which they are claiming will go toward helping recover the costs of investigating the case.
A rep for Smollett had no comment when reached by Fox News.
Smollett's legal team responded to the letter last week, saying Smollett will not pay the $130,000 for the cost of the investigation as it is "unconstitutional". The surprise decision angered Emanuel, who called it a "whitewash" and said the city's reputation "was dragged through the mud" by Smollett.
The civil complaint filed on Thursday outlined what city attorneys said Smollett did.
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Smollett's lawyers rebuffed the demand, claiming that it was Smollett who was owed an apology.
Jussie Smollett isn't getting off scot-free for the alleged attack that occurred earlier this year.
Evidence sealed in the criminal case could be unsealed in the civil case and be presented at trial. The civil suit will likely force the prosecutor's office to unseal the file - at least for parties to the case - and the city will likely get to depose Smollett under oath about the January 29 incident and statements made to police. Smollett never pleaded guilty, and some think that paying the amount would be tantamount to an admission of guilt.
"Given that he doesn't feel any sense of contrition and remorse, my recommendation is when he writes check in the memo section [of the check], he can put the word 'I'm accountable for the hoax", Emanuel stated.
Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court after charges against him were dropped by state prosecutors in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. March 26, 2019.
Smollett claimed that he was attacked by two men spouting Trump campaign slogans and that they hung a noose around his neck, doused him with bleach, and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. Johnson told the media at the time that the Osundairo brothers were cooperating with investigators, and that the investigation was pivoting from a hate crime probe into an inquiry into false reporting.