Kim Foxx ignored ethical warning in Jessie Smollett case

Chicago State’s Attorney Kim Foxx knew it was unethical to appoint her top deputy to the according to sources and e-mails obtained by The Post.

Two spokeswomen for Foxx’s office — Tandra Simonton and Kiera Ellis — had claimed Wednesday that their boss was never informed by her staff that it would be unethical to name an underlying, First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats, to oversee the case.

But a law-enforcement source told The Post on Friday that was not true.

First, the department’s chief ethics officer, April Perry, and Magats himself sought legal advice on the move and even prepared the proper documents calling for an outside special prosecutor after they were told Magats didn’t have the authority to take over for Foxx, according to an e-mail obtained through a public-records request.

Foxx was then informed of the snafu in her plan to appoint her man, Magats, the source said.

But the prepared office document calling for a special prosecutor instead of Magats was never filed, and he remained at the helm of the investigation.

It surfaced Friday that Ellis is no longer with the office. Simonton confirmed Ellis’s leaving but would not say if she had been fired or resigned.

Foxx’s office refused to comment on the special-prosecutor order but did not deny The Post’s contention that the state’s attorney knew her underlings determined it was unethical to appoint Magats.

Meanwhile, it surfaced Thursday night that Perry, the department’s chief ethics officer, would be resigning her post as well as Mark Rotert, who worked in the agency’s wrongful-conviction department.

Rotert submitted his resignation the day after charges were dropped against Smollett, it was revealed.

Smollett, an actor on TV’s “Empire,’’ had been accused of orchestrating a race-baiting anti-gay hoax against himself.

Days after Smollett told the Chicago Police Department that he was a victim, former White House adviser Tina Tchen, who knows his family, reached out to Foxx in an e-mail and asked to talk to her, e-mails show.

Tchen soon put Foxx in touch with a Smollett family member who expressed concerns with how the Chicago Police Department was handling the case and asked Foxx to see if the FBI could take over, according to text messages between the pair.

“Trying to figure out logistics. I’ll keep you posted,’’ Foxx texted the unnamed family member on Feb. 1.

“Omg this would be a huge victory,” the family member replied, according to the texts.

“I make no guarantees, but I’m trying,” Foxx replied.

Foxx consulted with Perry about her communications, and that same day, Perry sent an e-mail to top staffers in the office saying Foxx would recuse herself from the case and appointed Magats to be the acting state’s attorney on the matter, e-mails show.

Foxx’s office announced Friday that it would no longer be making public comments about the Smollett case while the Cook County Independent Inspector General conducts an investigation into how it was handled.

The inspector general’s office also is probing Foxx’s recusal.

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