Sleepy po­lice chief is fired

New York Daily News - - VOICE OF THE PEOPLE - BY PETER SBLENDORIO

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.”

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