A Cook County, Illinois judge has ruled that a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the alleged hate crime hoax case involving actor Jussie Smollett, which would allow charges to be reinstated against Smollett.

CBS News Chicago reported that the judge made the ruling because “Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had no authority to hand [the case] off to her top deputy after announcing she recused herself.”

TMZ noted that the judge “used a nautical metaphor to describe the screw-ups” made by Foxx’s office, saying, “There was no master on the bridge to guide the ship as it floundered through unchartered waters. And it ultimately lost its bearings.”

“Smollett’s case in many ways was truly unique,” Judge Michael Toomin said, according to reporter Megan Crepeau. “A case that purported to have been brought and supervised by a prosecutor authorized to serve in the stead of the duly elected state’s attorney but in fact who was appointed to a fictitious office.”

Crepeau added: “The special prosecutor may further prosecute Smollett, and if they have ‘reasonable grounds to believe that any other criminal offense was committed … special prosecutor may commence the prosecution of any crime as may be suspected.'”

Anthony Guglielmi, Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Police Department, tweeted: “We stand firmly behind the work of detectives in investigating the fabricated incident reported by Jussie Smollett & #ChicagoPolice will fully cooperate with the court appointed special prosecutor.”

This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.

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