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Controversial, Soros-backed state's attorney in Chicago won't seek re-election: 'My obituary will mention Jussie Smollett, and that makes me mad'

Composite screenshot of NBC Chicago and ABC News YouTube videos (Main: Kim Foxx | Featured: Jussie Smollett)

The controversial state's attorney for Cook County, Illinois, an area which includes Chicago, announced that she will not seek a third term in office.

On Tuesday, Kim Foxx, 51, told the City Club of Chicago that she would leave office after her second term expires in November 2024. "I will be stepping down as state's attorney" at that point, she said. "I will not be on next year's ballot."

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx Announces She Won't Seek Reelectionyoutu.be

Foxx was first elected to office in 2016 on the heels of the death of Laquan McDonald, a teenager who was shot and killed by former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. She campaigned on the idea of seeking so-called "restorative justice" in the city, but her progressive ethos led to a significant spike in violence. Overall crime is up 47% from just last year, and 2021 marked the highest number of homicides in Chicago in nearly three decades.

George Soros, the far-left billionaire, has financed many of Foxx's political ambitions. In 2016, Soros donated more than $400,000 to her first campaign for office and then shelled out a whopping $2 million for her four years later. Other "reform-minded" district attorneys backed by Soros, including George Gascón in Los Angeles and Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, have likewise allowed crime in their respective cities to flourish by frequently undercharging violent offenders and/or seeking reduced sentences following their convictions.

Just last month, Foxx came under fire for assessing misdemeanor charges against two teens suspected of killing a 6-month-old baby in a fatal traffic collision after they allegedly stole a truck. "I want to know how you [Foxx] sleep at night, seeing my nephew's picture on the screen, how you can see his face and think that his life meant absolutely nothing," said Annelisse Rivera, the aunt of little Cristian Uvidia. "'The district attorney has just as much blood on her hands as the people who did this."

The case which will likely define Foxx's legacy, however, is the Jussie Smollett case. On a bitterly cold night in January 2019, Smollett, a former actor on the hit show "Empire," staged a race hoax, claiming that he had been accosted at 2 a.m. by two white men wearing MAGA hats. He claimed that they threw a noose around his neck and poured bleach over his head, all the while hurling racial and homophobic slurs.

Smollett's account was dubious from the start, and he was initially charged by other area prosecutors for disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. Within weeks of his indictment, however, all charges against Smollett were dropped. Foxx had recused herself from the case because she had supposedly spoken with some of Smollett's relatives.

National outrage over the apparent injustice eventually prompted the commission of a special prosecutor. Dan Webb eventually refiled charges against Smollett, who was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 150 days in jail. Smollett is appealing his sentence. Webb also determined that, while Foxx and her office did not break any laws in the Smollett case, they did commit "substantial operational failures" in their handling of it.

Foxx herself admitted in the speech to the City Club that the Smollett case has tarnished her career permanently. "They ask me over and over again, State’s Attorney Foxx, do you have any regrets about the Class 4 non-violent felony against a D-list actor who committed a crime against himself?" Foxx joked. "... My obituary will mention Jussie Smollett, and that makes me mad."

Despite a history of prosecutorial missteps, Foxx claimed that she will leave the state's attorney's office with her "head held high." She also positioned herself as a victim of racist opposition and implicitly congratulated herself for supposedly disrupting it. "I knew when I showed up and put my hand on the Bible at the Herald Washington Library as a black woman from Cabrini, that my presence alone was disruptive," she asserted.

She hinted that Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson will face similar hostility because of his skin color. "I told Mayor-elect Johnson as a black man in leadership that his role would be very difficult," she said. "You have to keep going. But know what’s coming. His responsibility is to do the work with the full knowledge that it’s not going to be fair … but he has a job to do and elevate the voices of the people who put him there."

Foxx claimed that she is leaving office because she promised her family she would not serve more than two terms. She also indicated that she wanted to spend more time with her family, especially her four children with husband Kelley Foxx.

Outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who sometimes publicly opposed Foxx's professional decisions, nonetheless expressed her best wishes following Foxx's announcement. "I know what it's like being a Black woman in leadership and constantly being judged and evaluated through a different set of standards," Lightfoot tweeted on Tuesday. "I wish SA Foxx and her family the best as she embarks on a new chapter."

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