Cook County District Attorney James Murphy slams Kim Foxx in searing resignation letter

A 25-year-old veteran prosecutor issued a scathing rebuke to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in a letter announcing his resignation on Friday, blaming his former boss for being ‘more preoccupied with stories and agendas policies than by the victims and the prosecution of violent crimes”.

Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy described an understaffed office in turmoil in his email to colleagues, saying, “I can’t continue to work for an administration I no longer respect. .”

“I would like to continue to fight for victims of crime and continue to stand with each of you, especially in the face of the overwhelming crime that cripples our communities,” Murphy wrote. “However, I can no longer work for this administration. I have no confidence in their leadership.

Murphy, who could not be reached directly for comment, focused on numerous issues that have made Foxx a target of naysayers who say she went easy on some accused of violent crimes, while the carjackings and gun violence have increased in the Chicago area.

Murphy wrote that he began thinking about leaving office in early 2021 with Foxx’s involvement in passing the SAFE-T Act, a sweeping piece of legislation that aims to reform the approach to the state in criminal justice, including narrowing the definition of who can be charged with first degree murder.

Murphy said he supports a provision of the law that promises to eliminate cash bail, but he doesn’t understand “the rush on such an important issue.”

He continued, “And it was during this process that I began to realize that the administration’s ‘mission vision and values’ were just a publicity stunt, just words about a page. Justice. Responsibility. Integrity. Respect. Collaboration. These words must mean something. … Yet, time and time again, this administration has shown that it does not understand the meaning of these words. Or they don’t care. »

Representatives from Foxx’s office did not return messages seeking comment on Murphy’s letter.

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Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks at a news conference in March.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Last year, Murphy was briefly furloughed by Foxx when she claimed he ‘didn’t fully present the facts’ at a bail hearing when he described the situation in which a Chicago policeman fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Little Village. .

Murphy then told a judge that the boy had a gun in his right hand moments before he was shot. This matched part of the police body camera video of the shooting, but did not specifically note that Adam had dropped the gun and had his hands in the air less than a second before shooting. be shot.

Foxx ended up kicking out a senior prosecutor for failing to review Murphy’s statement, who was soon reinstated.

Murphy did not detail this controversy in his letter, but he described being called to a meeting with Foxx a few months ago “so that she could criticize certain bond hearings that I have made.”

Foxx focused on a story about a man who avoided murder charges in a shooting that left a woman dead, due to the SAFE-T Act’s narrower definition for cases of murder, according to Murphy.

“The state’s attorney expressed concern about the title and the warmth she was receiving from her backers and never expressed concern that this woman was shot and killed simply by walking to the store,” Murphy wrote.

“That’s what’s wrong with this administration. I’ve seen it day in and day out. How many mass shootings must there be before something gets done? This administration is more concerned with stories and political agendas than by victims and the prosecution of violent crimes,” he wrote.

Murphy is the latest in a series of departures from Foxx’s office, where “staffing is at an all-time low and has been for some time,” the outgoing prosecutor said.

“If this administration were truly concerned about effectively addressing violent crime, then it would fully staff these courtrooms and these units,” Murphy wrote.

Foxx, halfway through his second term, is eligible for re-election in 2024.

Contributor: Kaitlin Washburn

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