CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - Another issue is raising eyebrows about what's going on at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Two top deputies are leaving.
The Cook County State's Attorney's office confirms the chief ethics officer and a long-time prosecutor have both submitted letters of resignation. April Perry served as the office's first chief ethics officer. She is also a former federal prosecutor. Perry put together the memo stating Foxx had recused herself from the controversial Jussie Smollett case.
The other one leaving is Mark Rotert. Rotert had nothing to do with the Smollett case, but he did do a lot for the office in revamping the way wrongful convictions are handled.
State's Attorney Kim Foxx released a statement of appreciation, saying, "I am profoundly grateful for Mark's work to make the Cook County Conviction Integrity Unit a national model. Under his tenure, we have vacated the convictions of over 70 wrongfully convicted men and women. We have created national standards and protocols for reviewing past convictions. The people of Cook County have been well served by the leadership and he has well earned his retirement. I am also grateful for April Perry's tenure as the first ever Chief Ethics Officer for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. She has been a valuable resource to the office in ensuring that we operate with the highest levels of integrity and professionalism. I wish her well in her new endeavors."
We're learning about the resignations a day after Foxx's text messages were made public. Professor Richard Kling with the Chicago Kent College of Law didn't find anything unethical about those, and of these retirements, he says it may be totally innocent, noting there are hundreds of employees in the office and this may not be related to the Smollett controversy.
"Realistically, there's always people who leave. It will be interesting to get the regular, revolving door. You know there are people who are always coming, who are always leaving. and the fact that Kim Foxx is in the front page right now doesn't necessarily mean that their leaving has anything to do with it. It may, but we won't know," said Kling.
FOX 32 spoke with Rotert just before the broadcast. He says while his leaving does come close to the Jussie Smollett case, it is in no way connected. Rotert says he began talking with his family over the winter holidays about leaving the state's attorney's office. His resignation, he says, coincides with a planned international trip and with the upcoming fishing season.