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Dan Webb Stays As Special Prosecutor In Smollett Case

CHICAGO (CBS) --  Dan Webb will stay on as a special prosecutor in the investigation of how the Jussie Smollett case was handled by Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office.

The hearing on Friday with Judge Michael Toomin was held after it was disclosed that Webb contributed $1,000 to Foxx's campaign fund.  Webb said he had no memory of making the contribution, but felt compelled to tell the court about it.

CBS 2's Charlie De Mar has the story.

"Judge Toomin is the one who appointed me, and so I immediately notified Judge Toomin, because I wanted him to consider whether there was anything about it that could in any way interfere with my ability to be special prosecutor," Webb said. "As a result today, I am very, very pleased with the order that Judge Toomin has entered."

Webb added "Judge Toomin made it very clear that based on the facts and the law there is absolutely no conflict of interest, there's no appearance of impropriety. I do not know Kim Foxx. I have never met Kim Foxx. I have no biases in favor of or against her and there's no reason whatsoever why I would have any reason not to continue as special prosecutor, but Judge Toomin is the person I wanted to make that decision, because he's the one who appointed me."

Webb was appointed as a special prosecutor in August to investigate the Cook County State's Attorney's office decision to drop disorderly conduct charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett. He's accused of lying to Chicago police, telling them in January that he was beat up and the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime.

Webb was assigned not only to investigate how Foxx's office handled the case, but also to determine whether Smollett should be further prosecuted for allegedly staging a hoax hate crime.

"I don't know where this case is going," Webb said upon his appointment. "I'm going to take this case one step at a time, I have to master the facts."

Foxx's attorney first revealed the donation to Webb, who in turn disclosed it to the court.

"On Tuesday of last week, my campaign staff notified me that Dan Webb had contributed $1,000 to my campaign in October 2016," Foxx said in a statement. "Mr. Webb was notified that same day, and my office continues to cooperate fully with the investigation."

A statement from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office said:

"Public trust is paramount to our work. We raised our concerns and accept the court's ruling. We will continue to fully cooperate with the special prosecutor as he reviews this matter."

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