Arguing that her recent election loss could complicate an already complex investigation, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarezhas recused herself from prosecuting the Laquan McDonald case, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Alvarez, who released a statement Thursday, said “the interests of justice after she lost the election would best be served by having an independent prosecutor appointed,” writes the Tribune:
“While there is no legal conflict of interest that would prevent the state’s attorney’s office from continuing the prosecution of this case, I believe that the results of the recent election and the impending transition of this office make this the best and most responsible decision.
In seeking the special prosecutor, a coalition of Alvarez critics, attorneys and community groups had alleged that the state’s attorney’s close relationship with the Chicago police union created a conflict of interest that discouraged her from pursuing officers suspected of wrongdoing.
State’s attorney candidate Kim Foxx, who defeated Alvarez in the Democratic primary and is the heir apparent to succeed her after the general election in November, applauded the move by Alvarez, saying in a statement that “this is clearly the appropriate decision in this case.”
We also applaud Alvarez for making an important and necessary decision.