Nicole Darrah

Two ranking executives inside the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office have submitted their resignations — including State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s chief ethics officer, April Perry, whom Foxx cited as the person who advised her to “recuse” herself from the Jussie Smollett case that has rocked the Chicago office, Fox News learned Thursday.

Mark Rotert, the director of the office’s Conviction Integrity Unit, has also submitted his resignation, according to a Foxx spokesperson. Perry and Rotert are scheduled to work their last days on the job in May.

“While I feel lucky to have been able to spend the last 15 years of my career in public service, I am looking forward to my next endeavor in the private sector where I have the opportunity to continue to work toward increasing the safety of our community,” Perry wrote in an April 15 letter obtained by Fox News.

Chicago’s top prosecutor has been criticized for how she handled Smollett’s criminal case — including her questionable recusal and how her office suddenly dropped the charges against the 36-year-old “Empire” actor on March 26.

A grand jury indicted the actor on 16 counts in early March. Foxx’s office dropped the charges about three weeks later, explaining that Smollett was offered “deferred prosecution” because he forfeited his $10,000 bond and performed some community service. Much of the legal community has rebuked Foxx’s explanation including the National District Attorneys Association and the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association which concluded that Foxx “fundamentally misled the public” and should have recused her entire office from the case.

STATE’S ATTORNEY KIM FOXX REPORTEDLY CALLS JUSSIE SMOLLETT ‘WASHED UP CELEB WHO LIED TO COPS’ IN TEXT MESSAGE

Last February, during the height of the investigation into Smollett’s claim that he was a victim of a hate crime, the state’s attorney’s office released a statement saying Foxx recused herself from investigating Smollett “out of an abundance of caution” because Foxx had discussed the case with a Smollett family member. “Shortly after the incident occurred in late January, State’s Attorney Foxx had conversations with a family member of Jussie Smollett about the incident and their concerns, and facilitated a connection to the Chicago Police Department who were investigating the incident,” a statement from the office read.

In media interviews, Foxx revealed it was Perry who advised her to recuse herself and touted Perry as the office’s first ethics officer. However, her office later had to clarify that Foxx recused herself only in the “colloquial” sense — not what was accepted as the standard legal recusal which would involve her entire office, and the appointment of a special prosecutor.

On March 8, it became public that Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly lying to police over a staged assault against himself earlier this year — after discussing the move with Perry.

Foxx has stood by her office’s decisions. She invited the Cook County inspector general’s office to investigate the case, and the IG confirmed to Fox News that it was.

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President Trump said last month he’s asked for a federal review of Foxx’s decisions.

Rotert, meanwhile, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the Smollett controversy “had absolutely zero percent to do with my decision.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Former FBI Director James Comey had “so many answers” on Thursday following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, after he initially tweeted that he had “so many questions.”

Comey claimed to have answers after the Justice Department publicly released a redacted version of Mueller’s report regarding his investigation into the Trump campaign and possible collusion with Russia. It marked the dramatic end of a lengthy and contentious investigation but also rang in a new round of partisan fighting.

Alongside having “so many answers,” Comey tweeted a photo of branches scattered across the ground.

He tweeted what appeared to be the first half of this thought on March 24, when Attorney General William Barr released a four-page letter detailing what he called the “principal conclusions” of the investigation.

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That tweet included Comey standing in a forest, looking up while surrounded by tall trees.

Mueller’s 448-page report found the campaign did not collude with Russia, but there was no clear verdict on whether Trump obstructed justice.

Trump tweeted throughout the day on Thursday about the report, continually arguing that there was “no collusion” and “no obstruction” of justice. By late afternoon, he was headed to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida with first lady Melania.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

The U.S. Marine who crawled across the Boston Marathon finish line in honor of his fallen comrades has been invited to run the New York City Marathon despite not qualifying for the race, according to a report.

Micah Herndon, 31, ran the race in 3 hours and 38 minutes on Monday. With around 4 miles left in the race, his legs began to give out, and with around 100 yards left, his military training kicked in.

RELATED: MARINE RUNNING BOSTON MARATHON FOR FALLEN COMRADES CRAWLS ACROSS FINISH LINE

Herndon got to his hands and knees and crawled on the pavement to finish the race. He told The Associated Press it “was the longest 4.2 miles I’ve ever run in my life.”

“It was kind of second nature,” he said. “They instill ‘adapt and overcome.’ Any situation you’re in, that’s what you do.”

Herndon told ABC News’ Good Morning America that he was trying to qualify for the New York City Marathon, which is scheduled for November. But when he realized he couldn’t get his goal pace down, he “just had one mission in mind and that was to finish by myself.”

Micah Herndon crawls to the finish line in the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday in Boston.

Micah Herndon crawls to the finish line in the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

But despite his race scores, the news outlet reported the marathon operation invited Herndon to join the race anyway.

“I appreciate that. That’s good stuff right there,” Herndon said. “Whoever set that up, thank you.”

The Marine ran the marathon on Monday in honor of Marines Mark Juarez and Matthew Ballard, and British journalist Rupert Hamer, who were killed in Afghanistan by an IED in 2010. During the Boston Marathon, he ran with their names on his hands, his shoes and race bib. They were his inspiration, he said.

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Herndon repeats their names when he’s training or competing in a race, even though he gets strange looks from other runners.

The 31-year-old said “it’s hard to reintegrate into society and be a civilian” after serving overseas, but encouraged other veterans to “find whatever your release is.” He says his “happens to be running.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Ten Connecticut high school students were arrested after participating in a food fight so wild it left a teacher injured and a school resource officer hospitalized, officials said.

The “out of control” ordeal took place at Westhill High School in Stamford on Friday after students planned the fight and circulated it on social media, the Stamford Police Department said in a news release.

CHIPOTLE EMPLOYEE FIRED AFTER SLAPPING CO-WORKER DURING ‘PLAY’ FIGHT

The fight included “hundreds of students running out of the school, many throwing eggs, water and soda cans,” in addition to “a few skirmishes.”

The situation was so chaotic that investigators said a school resource officer who was hit in the head with a full can of soda had to be transported to the ER and treated for a laceration and a concussion. A teacher at the high school was injured after “she was trampled by a mass of students.”

Ten students have been arrested after a food fight broke out at Westhill High School in Stamford, Connecticut, according to police.

Ten students have been arrested after a food fight broke out at Westhill High School in Stamford, Connecticut, according to police. (Google)

“We realize that the citizens, parents, teachers and vast majority of the students do not condone this behavior,” the police department wrote. “This is not the learning environment we expect and demand for our children in this City.”

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Following a “countless” number of hours investigating and reviewing surveillance footage, police arrested 10 juveniles in connection to the food fight. They’re scheduled to appear in juvenile court. The department said the charges “range from Riot in the 1st degree, Breach of Peace to Reckless Endangerment and Assault on a Police Officer.”

Investigators urged parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts to prevent similar incidents.

Source: Fox News National

The man who allegedly brought gas cans and lighter fluid into St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City has taught philosophy at different colleges in New York and New Jersey, school officials said.

Marc Lamparello, 37, was arrested on Wednesday night and was charged with attempted arson and reckless endangerment. He was taken into custody after a security guard at the cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan spotted him.

RELATED: MAN CAUGHT WITH 2 GAS CANS ENTERING ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL IN NYC, POLICE SAY

He was cooperative but acted evasively, the New York Police Department said. Lamparello allegedly told officers that he was “cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue” and that “his car ran out of gas,” police said. But when police reportedly checked the man’s minivan, it’s gas tank wasn’t empty.

John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, said surveillance camera footage showed Lamparello circling St. Patrick’s several times in a minivan well over an hour before he parked outside the cathedral on Fifth Avenue, walked around the area, returned to his vehicle, and retrieved the gasoline and lighter fluid.

Marc Lamparello, 37, was arrested on Wednesday after he was caught was gasoline and lighter fluid at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

Marc Lamparello, 37, was arrested on Wednesday after he was caught was gasoline and lighter fluid at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The incident at the cathedral came two days after Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was ravaged by a fire that investigators said Thursday was most likely electrical. After Lamparello’s arrest, police said there “doesn’t appear to be any connection to any terrorist group or any terrorist-related intent here.”

Lamparello was also arrested on Monday in Newark, New Jersey after he allegedly wouldn’t leave the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart at closing time after a late Mass.

NOTRE DAME FIRE LIKELY CAUSED BY ELECTRICAL SHORT-CIRCUIT, INVESTIGATORS BELIEVE

The man was calm and respectful to officers but was adamant about not leaving the cathedral, according to the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.

“He said, ‘This is a house of God, it should be open, I’m not leaving. You’ll have to lock me up,'” Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.

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Lamparello has worked as a part-time online instructor at Lehman College in New York, and taught philosophy as a part-time adjunct instructor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, both schools confirmed to Fox News on Thursday.

Brooklyn College said in a statement that because Lamparello is a PhD student at the College of New York’s Graduate Center, he is required to teach a course on campus, and was assigned to the school.

Sarah Ramsey, a spokesperson for Lehman, said the school is aware of what happened at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and is “taking appropriate steps to terminate the individual’s employment with the college,” while Seton Hall said Lamparella is no longer working with the university, as their “top priority is the education and welfare of our students and the entire campus community.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

A man was taken into custody in New York after entering St. Patrick’s Cathedral carrying two canisters of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and two butane lighters, authorities said.

The man, whose identity has not been released, was stopped by a security officer as he entered the cathedral, New York police said at an evening press conference. The man was told he could not enter with the gasoline. As he turned around some gasoline spilled onto the floor of the cathedral.

Investigators said it was too early to call the incident terrorism, but have yet to determine a motive for the man’s actions.

Investigators said a “heavy police presence” was in the area of the church, which is located on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

On Monday, two days before the reported incident, the Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed with flames for hours after a blaze broke out. The flames collapsed the cathedral’s spire, which had been shrouded in scaffolding as part of a $6.8 million renovation project on the spire and its 250 tons of lead.

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Two-thirds of the cathedral burned before the fire was brought under control. The incident is being investigated as an accident.

Source: Fox News National

A 35-year-old woman who died of cancer earlier this month spent the last moments of her life living it up, and it’s all detailed in her obituary — which she wrote.

When Bailey Jean Matheson was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, she decided to forego chemotherapy and spend the rest of her time on Earth enjoying what time she had left. She died on April 5.

In her obituary published April 9, Matheson urged people to not “take the small stuff so seriously and live a little.” She thanked several people, including her parents for “letting me live the rest of my life the way I believed it should be.”

“I know how hard that must have been watching me stop treatment and letting nature take its course,” she wrote. “I love you both even more for this.”

NEWSPAPER PULLS WOMAN’S VIRAL REVENGE OBITUARY THAT SAYS ‘WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE WITHOUT HER’

Matheson, of Canada, wrote of being an only child, and thanked her friends for being the siblings she never had.

“I never thought I could love my friends more than I did but going through this and having your unconditional love and support you have made something that is normally so hard, more bearable and peaceful,” she said.

“To my Brent,” Matheson wrote to her boyfriend, whom she met just three months prior to her diagnosis. The couple seemingly met on a dating app, as she told him: “You had no idea what you were getting yourself into when you swiped right that day.”

“I couldn’t have asked for a better man to be by my side for all the adventures, appointments, laughs, cries and breakdowns,” she said. “You are an amazing person and anyone in your life is so fortunate to know you. I love you beyond words.”

Matheson’s friend, Julie Carrigan, told NBC New’s TODAY that Matheson wrote her own obituary because, “She said, ‘I don’t want it to sound like a normal, boring obituary. I want it to be a message to everybody I loved.'”

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The two pals were friends for a decade, according to the news outlet. Carrigan said Matheson’s cancer diagnosis was “like a strange blessing in disguise, in a way, because most people just go every day and take it for granted. And when you get diagnosed with something like that, there’s no taking it for granted anymore. You just do everything you want to do and say everything you want to say.”

For her part, Matheson lived a fulfilling life, as she wrote in her obituary: “35 years may not seem long, but damn it was good!”

Source: Fox News National

Police in Aurora, Illinois released surveillance video on Wednesday of the mass shooting that left five people dead and five officers injured at a manufacturing warehouse in February.

The footage is a “portion” of the events that happened at Henry Pratt Co. — one of the largest makers of industrial water valves — when Gary Martin, a 45-year-old disgruntled employee, opened fire.

ILLINOIS WORKPLACE SHOOTING LEAVES 5 DEAD, SHOOTER KILLED, OFFICIALS SAY

The clip showed four camera angles that included police pulling up to the warehouse, and Martin after the shooting. After police arrived on scene and ran to the building, he appeared to pace the lobby, often looking through the front doors throughout the nearly 10-minute-long video.

This undated booking photo provided by the Aurora Illinois Police Department shows Gary Martin.

This undated booking photo provided by the Aurora Illinois Police Department shows Gary Martin. (Aurora Illinois Police Department via AP)

A few minutes in, Martin could be seen shooting at the police officers through the front door. Soon after, an armored police truck was seen ramming the lobby doors, before seven armed officers slowly entered the building.

The footage ended there. Martin, a 15-year-old employee of the company, was killed at the scene. He was shot six times, one of which was likely self-inflicted, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing autopsy results.

The Aurora Police Department wrote on Facebook, alongside the video, that Martin had one pistol and eight pistol magazines on him, and he fired 64 rounds during the incident.

Police said they “were not careless” in releasing the surveillance footage, and chose to do so to be transparent with the community.

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“We agree that you have a right to see for yourself what transpired at the Henry Pratt facility that day where, sadly, five members of our community lost their lives, and five of our police officers were shot while simply doing their jobs,” police wrote.

Clayton Parks, 32, Vicente Juarez, 54, Josh Pinkard, 37, and Russell Beyer, 47, were killed in the shooting. Trevor Wehner, a 21-year-old intern at his first day on the job, was also killed.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

A Texas woman was arrested after her newborn child was found buried in a flowerpot in a cemetery, officials said.

Jazmin Lopez, 18, identified herself as the mother of the baby, who was found by a caretaker at Perry Cemetery on March 11, Fox station KDFW reported.

FLASHBACK: TEXAS WOMAN, 18, SAYS SHE’S THE MOTHER OF BABY WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND IN CEMETERY FLOWERPOT

The caretaker “emptied what he knew to be an out of place flowerpot and discovered the body of a deceased infant beneath the pot’s soil,” the Carrollton Police Department previously revealed in a news release.

Authorities said the baby “was a girl, 34 weeks to full term, and weighed just under six pounds.”

Jazmin Lopez, 18, was reportedly arrested after she identified herself as the mother of a baby who was found dead in a flowerpot in March. 

Jazmin Lopez, 18, was reportedly arrested after she identified herself as the mother of a baby who was found dead in a flowerpot in March.  (Denton County Sheriff’s Office)

Lopez allegedly first told investigators that she gave birth to the baby, who was not breathing or moving, while at home alone, the news station reported, citing an arrest warrant affidavit.

Police said that after they found a photo of a seemingly alive baby on her phone, the woman allegedly changed her story, claiming she gave birth in the bathroom with family members home.

“Jazmin demonstrated that she took her shirt off and wrapped the baby up. Jazmin said the baby was moving and gasping for air,” the affidavit reportedly stated. “Jazmin said she knew the baby was about to cry so she covered her mouth.”

FLORIDA MAN CONVICTED OF MURDER FOR THROWING HIS DAUGHTER OFF BRIDGE

Lopez told authorities she “took the shirt and covered the baby’s face and then held the baby against her body for one to two minutes,” before allegedly putting the body in a basket of blankets.

When her friend arrived, she said she put the baby in a backpack and went to buy a flower pot. Lopez allegedly claimed she put the body in the flower pot, then placed dirt and flowers on top.

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Investigators reportedly don’t believe Lopez’s claim that she covered the baby to keep her quiet, considering she had allegedly conducted a search history about abortion.

Lopez was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with capital murder. As of Wednesday, she was reportedly being held at the Dallas County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Source: Fox News National

A Marine who ran the Boston Marathon in honor of three men he served alongside crawled across the finish line on Monday as his body almost gave up — but his mind didn’t.

Micah Herndon, 31, ran the race in 3 hours and 38 minutes, according to race results. But to hit that mark, he had to physically drag his body along the pavement to finish the race.

PAUL BATURA: HOW 23 FAILURES LED ME TO WINNING AT THE BOSTON MARATHON

Herndon, of Ohio, served several deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Record-Courier reported. During a tour in Afghanistan in 2010, three people he was with were killed when they were targeted by an IED.

Marines Mark Juarez and Matthew Ballard, and Rupert Hamer, a British journalist, died. He said he ran the Boston Marathon on Sunday for them.

“I run in honor of them. They are not here anymore. I am here, and I am able,” Herndon told the news outlet. “I am lucky to still have all my limbs. I can still be active. I find fuel in the simple idea that I can run. Some cannot.”

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He said that despite his small plights — whether his feet hurt or he’s tired from running — he reminds himself why he continues.

“I just keep saying their names out loud to myself. They went through much worse, so I run for them and their families.”

In a Facebook post, Herndon shared a photo of a pair of orange Nike sneakers, but with a sentimental detail: three small golden plates featuring the names of Juarez, Ballard and Hamer are weaved in with the shoelaces. The plates served as a reminder to Herndon of why he keeps running.

Videos posted online Monday show Herndon kept his word. Close to the end, he crawled to the finish line, finishing the race 11,334 overall.

Source: Fox News National


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