Sleepy police chief is fired
Chicago’s retiring top cop has been canned for “ethical lapses” — including lying about a recent incident in which he was found asleep at the wheel of his car after having drinks.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson’s firing was announced Monday by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who said in a statement that Johnson was “intentionally dishonest” with her about what occurred in the wee hours of Oct. 17.
Officers were called to the scene around 12:30 a.m. and found Johnson asleep in his car outside his home. He claimed shortly afterward to reporters that the situation was the result of him not taking his prescription medication, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A subsequent statement put out by police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi contended alcohol was not a factor, but Lightfoot has said Johnson told her he’d had “a couple of drinks.”
He was not given a breathalyzer test at the scene.
Johnson had told reporters he’d gone to dinner with friends despite having a long day of work, and didn’t feel well on his drive home.
Johnson, 60, announced Nov. 7 that he planned to retire at the end of the year, but his firing ends his more-thanthree-year tenure several weeks early.
“Upon a thorough review of the materials of the inspector general’s ongoing investigation, it has become clear that Mr. Johnson engaged in a series of ethical lapses that are intolerable,” Lightfoot’s statement reads.
Lightfoot said Johnson, who was in charge of 13,400 Chicago officers, had “communicated a narrative replete with false statements” and that she would’ve fired him earlier had she known the facts.
Johnson has not publicly commented on his ousting.
Charlie Beck, the former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, will take over as interim superintendent in Chicago on Monday.
Lightfoot said Johnson “misled the people of Chicago” and that Chicago officers deserve a leader “they can believe in.”
“In public life, we must be accountable for our actions and strive to do better every day,” Lightfoot said in her statement. “And to achieve the reform and accountability in the department that we know is urgently needed, we require a leader whose actions reflect the integrity and legitimacy of what it means to be a Chicago Police Officer.”