PRESSURE TAKES TOLL ON TOP COP’S HEALTH
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