New network TV shows compete with controversy for attention

In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. — AP Photo/Richard Shotwell

CHICAGO — A judge has rejected a request to have a judge outside Chicago consider whether to appoint a special prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case.

Judge Michael Toomin said Friday he's not swayed by claims that it would be a conflict for Cook County judges to make the decision. Sheila O'Brien, a former appellate judge, wants a special prosecutor to investigate why charges were dropped against the "Empire" actor.

Smollett was accused of falsely reporting what police say was a staged racist and anti-gay attack on himself in January in Chicago. The charges were dropped in March.

Toomin set a May 31 hearing on the special prosecutor request. O'Brien said she might ask the Illinois Supreme Court to intervene.

Separately, Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard is investigating how Smollett's case was handled. — (AP)

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