Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is stepping back from political activities after her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, her office confirmed Monday.
Foxx’s husband Kelley Foxx is expected to have surgery this week, as first reported by Politico. The State’s Attorney’s office confirmed that Kim Foxx will pull back from campaigning to help him recover and care for their family.
Kim Foxx is running for a second term against Republican Pat O’Brien in the November general election. She won a contested Democratic primary in March against three challengers, emerging with just over 50% of the vote, and is poised to win reelection in the heavily Democratic county.
The news that she would be stepping back from campaigning came the same day a special prosecutor said in his report that Kim Foxx and her office committed “substantial abuses of discretion and operational failures” in the handling of the case against actor Jussie Smollett.
A Cook County grand jury indicted Smollett in March of 2019 on 16 felony counts in connection with his reporting of an alleged racist and homophobic attack, which police claimed he staged against himself because he was “dissatisfied with his salary,” then working as an actor on “Empire.” All charges against Smollett were dropped later that month in a surprise move the fueled speculation of impropriety in Kim Foxx’s office.
But special prosecutor Dan Webb said in his report Monday that there was no evidence to support criminal charges against Kim Foxx or anyone working in the State’s Attorney’s office.
Charges against Smollett were restored in February. He has pleaded not guilty, with his attorney saying in a statement at the time that the renewed prosecution effort was “clearly all about politics not justice.”
In a statement Monday, Kim Foxx’s office said the report “puts to rest any implications of outside influence or criminal activity on the part of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) and the Chicago Police Department (CPD). As the report unequivocally confirms, State’s Attorney Foxx was not involved in the decision-making process regarding the Jussie Smollett case at any point and there was no outside influence on that process.”
Her office added that it “categoricaly rejects” the special prosecutor’s “characterizations of its exercises of prosecutorial discretion and private or public statements as ‘abuses of discretion’ or false statements to the public.”