Chicago Sun-Times

PRES­SURE TAKES TOLL ON TOP COP’S HEALTH

- Michael Sneed. Fol­low Sneed on Twit­ter: @ Sneedlings

What the hell? The city’s vi­o­lence uptick has now taken its toll on Chicago’s last two top cops.

Po­lice Supt. Ed­die John­son, who fell ill and lost his bal­ance at a South Side press con­fer­ence Fri­day — said later Fri­day that he needs a kid­ney trans­plant . . . and Sneed is told he was an­tic­i­pat­ing a donor trans­plant soon.

“Ed­die John­son is a great guy, but he’s been un­der a lot of pres­sure,” said a top cop source who spoke to John­son re­cently.

“Af­ter all, his pre­de­ces­sor, Garry McCarthy, had a heart at­tack on the job — which is a deadly pres­sure cooker.

“He [ John­son] was hop­ing to keep things quiet un­til the right donor was found,” the source said. “But things were mov­ing along quickly. This was no se­cret kept from the mayor’s of­fice,” the source added. “We knew he had kid­ney is­sues.”

At a Fri­day night news con­fer­ence, John­son said he fell ill be­cause he took blood pres­sure meds on an empty stom­ach.

Sneed’s tip Thurs­day that for­mer top cop McCarthy had been talked to by a top Illi­nois Repub­li­can leader, about the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing ap­pointed U. S. Mar­shal for the North­ern District of Illi­nois in the new Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, may have added to the stress.

“Es­pe­cially if Pres­i­dent Trump, who keeps blast­ing Chicago for be­ing a mur­der hell hole, de­cides to cut loose mil­lions via the U. S. Mar­shal’s of­fice to hire re­tired Chicago Po­lice of­fi­cers to mon­i­tor high- crime ar­eas,” the source added.

John­son said he had been man­ag­ing his kid­ney is­sue for 32 years. And man­ag­ing it suc­cess­fully. He said he was not on dial­y­sis.

John­son fell ill Fri­day at the En­gle­wood District sta­tion.

The Pfleger file . . .

Ac­tivist pri­est Michael Pfleger just hauled out his TRUM­Pet!

◆ Trans­la­tion: Pfleger, who is pas­tor of a war- torn South Side parish lo­cated in the midst of the city’s Auburn Gre­sham neigh­bor­hood, tells Sneed he has in­vited Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to St. Sabina Church.

“I have asked him to sit down with the com­mu­nity and lis­ten to our con­cerns about the vi­o­lence and what’s needed,” he said.

“Be­fore he brings in the Feds and makes de­ci­sions based on false in­for­ma­tion, I hope he comes here to lis­ten to the peo­ple to as­sess what re­ally needs to be done. It’s true more po­lice sat­u­rat­ing the city’s high- crime ar­eas would be a great help, but what’s going on in Chicago needs more than a tweet.

“Hir­ing more po­lice may stop the bleed­ing for a while, but not the cancer,” said Pfleger, who heads to Howard Uni­ver­sity on Sun­day to as­sess Trump and ad­dress the vi­o­lence in Chicago.

Hair scare . . .

Yipes! Did Pres­i­dent Trump fi­nally trim his shel­lacked, windswept mane now that he is the na­tion’s leader?

Back­shot: In June 2013, Trump told Sneed: “If I’m work­ing for the peo­ple, I will only have time to comb my hair back,” he chuck­led.

Snap­shot: Check out the snaps taken Fri­day while Trump holds hands with Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May! The tresses look trimmed!

[ And, yipes, ex­pect May, a Bri­tish vicar’s daugh­ter, to get a thwack­ing by the Brit press for be­ing “hand” led into a press con­fer­ence room by the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent.]

Me­la­nia ma­nia . . .

First lady Me­la­nia Trump can be spot­ted on the cover of “Van­ity Fair” Mex­ico’s Fe­bru­ary is­sue swirling di­a­mond neck­laces like spaghetti.

But, whoaaa . . . the pix were first seen April 2016, when they graced the pages of GQ magazine be­fore Trump be­came pres­i­dent and Me­la­nia’s emer­gence as demure and re­fined.

Notes from the nave . . .

Sneed is told Chicago’s Car­di­nal Blase J. Cupich met pri­vately with 32 par­ents who have lost their chil­dren to gun vi­o­lence last week at St. Sabina. “They opened up in tears and frus­tra­tion,” Pfleger said.

Sneedlings . . .

Leg­endary singer/ ac­tor Harry Be­la­fonte, a ma­jor voice in the civil rights move­ment, has been in­vited to speak in the sanc­tu­ary of St. Sabina Church at 7: 30 p. m. on Feb. 10 and to cel­e­brate his up­com­ing birth­day on Mar. 1. . . . I spy: Cub­bie fa­vorite David Ross spot­ted at Chicago Cut late Thurs­day night. . . . Four- time NBA champ Will Per­due din­ing with friends at Harry Caray’s Ital­ian Steak­house in Rose­mont on Thurs­day evening. Per­due posed in front of the Harry Caray statue with the iconic glasses on . . . Satur­day’s birth­days: J Cole, 32; Gregg Popovich, 68, and Camila Alves, 35. . . . Sun­day’s birth­days: Oprah Win­frey, 63, Tom Selleck, 72, and Paul Ryan, 47.

Father Pfleger just in­vited Pres­i­dent Trump to St. Sabina to wit­ness first­hand what’s re­ally needed to stem vi­o­lence in his war- torn parish. @ SNEEDLINGS

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 ?? FRAN SPIELMAN/ SUN- TIMES ?? Mayor Emanuel checks on Po­lice Supt. Ed­die John­son af­ter John­son be­came wob­bly dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Fri­day.
FRAN SPIELMAN/ SUN- TIMES Mayor Emanuel checks on Po­lice Supt. Ed­die John­son af­ter John­son be­came wob­bly dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Fri­day.
 ??  ?? Pres­i­dent Trump and Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May | GETTY IM­AGES
Pres­i­dent Trump and Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May | GETTY IM­AGES
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