Upsides, downsides for Smollett, city in looming fines fight

Chicago demands that Jussie Smollett recoup the city more than $130,000 for the investigation

A battle’s brewing over Chicago’s demand that Jussie Smollett recoup the city more than $130,000 for an investigation into his report of a racist, anti-gay attack that police say he staged.

Signs are the “Empire” actor is determined not to pay it.

READ MORE: All charges dropped against ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett

Chicago prosecutors this week dropped all criminal charges against Smollett, angering city officials. The city’s law office then sent a letter to Smollett demanding the payment.

It could all land in a civil court, where jurors would have to decide if Smollett staged the Jan. 29 attack.

The deadline for Smollett to pay is the end of next week. If he refuses, the city is expected to sue him.

Much of the same evidence would be in play in civil court, though the threshold for proving Smollett staged the attack would be lower.

Michael Tarm, The Associated Press

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