LaSalle County State's Attorney Karen Donnelly says she was asked to consider appointment as special prosecutor to the Jussie Smollett case in Cook County but has respectfully declined.
In a message posted to her state's attorney page Wednesday evening, Donelly says, "I am extremely honored to be asked to consider the appointment as special prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case, but I was elected as LaSalle County State’s Attorney and my loyalties lie here."
Donelly says she was not the only states attorney to be asked but she exclaimed a, "WOW" when reflecting on the request.
State's Attorney Donnelly added that she declined because she, "could never commit LaSalle County resources to prosecute a case in Cook County, especially when we are facing a budget crisis."
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that in June, a Cook County judge moved to appoint a special prosecutor to re-investigate the hate crime case and how Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx and her staff handled the decision to drop the charges.
The paper reports that Chicago filed a lawsuit under then Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who had blasted the actor for allegedly making a false report that he had been attacked near his Streeterville home by two men who taunted the openly gay, African American actor with racist and homophobic slurs.
Smollett was later charged with making a false police report. The disorderly conduct charges were dropped against Smollett in late March, and the city filed the lawsuit two weeks later.
Had Donelly accepted, she would have been the second local state's attorney to prosecute a high-profile Cook County case. Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon was appointed special prosecutor in the Jason Van Dyke case where Van Dyke, the former Chicago cop, was found guilty in the murder of Laquan McDonald.