A federal judge on Tuesday (October 22nd) refused to dismiss Chicago’s lawsuit against former Empire actor Jussie Smollett. The ruling means that the city’s suit which seeks to recoup $130,000 that officials say the police department spent investigating Smollett’s claim that he was a victim of a racist and homophobic attack in January can proceed.

The police conducted an exhaustive investigation that included nearly 1,900 hours of overtime as they looked into Smollett’s claim that he was beaten by two masked men on a downtown Chicago street in January. For days, detectives scoured the neighborhood for witnesses, analyzed dozens of videos from surveillance cameras but came up largely empty-handed of evidence that would’ve proved Smollett’s claims.

Although the 37-year-old has maintained his innocence, the police department remains adamant that there is a mountain of evidence that shows the Empire co-star staged the attack by two brothers he knew and paid. And with the appointment of the special prosecutor, there remains the possibility that Smollett could be charged again.

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