First Assistant to the Cook County State Attorney Joseph Magats — who replaced Kim Foxx when she recused herself — says they dropped the charges because Smollett doesn’t have a violent criminal history, and lying about the alleged attack was not a violent crime.

Magats says his office prioritizes violent crimes in Chicago, and felt this case wouldn’t be the best use of resources. For the record, he says he made this decision alone … without consultation from Foxx.

He also squarely says he believes Jussie DID concoct a hoax and lied about it to police. Even though Chicago PD and Mayor Emanuel ripped the State’s Attorney’s Office … Magats made it clear he stands by the findings of the cops, and believes they had the evidence to get a conviction.

The obvious question is asked … why take the case to a grand jury, only to drop the charges? Check out Magats’ answer — a lot of people, and not just Chicago PD, won’t buy what he’s selling here.

BTW, Magats says discussions have been going on for weeks with Jussie’s camp … about dropping the charges, and his community service. All of which must have been done in total secrecy because we know cops, the Mayor and others involved in the case had no clue this was going to happen.

10:45 AM PT — Mayor Rahm Emanuel is very strongly hinting at corruption in the State’s Attorney’s Office, calling the decision to drop the charges against Smollett a “whitewash of justice.”

The Mayor added, “From top to bottom, this is not on the level.” He called for accountability from the prosecutors.

Emanuel was joined by Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson who said he didn’t feel justice was served by letting Smollett off the hook.

What’s more, Johnson said if Jussie was, in fact, innocent … he should’ve taken his day in court, and not broker a backdoor deal in secrecy. Bigger picture — Johnson feels the City of Chicago is still owed an apology, as he believes Jussie carried out a hoax.

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