Chicago Mayor Fires Top Cop for Lying About Falling Asleep at the Wheel
On October 17, Chicago’s Superintendent of Police, Eddie Johnson, was found slumped over the steering wheel of his marked police car sound asleep. It is not clear whether he was in traffic lanes, but reports indicate that he was found not far from his home.
On Monday, December 2, Chicago’s freshman Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired the chief after accusing him of lying to her about the incident.
Johnson’s termination comes just three weeks following his announcement that he planned to retire from the police force at the end of the year — December 31. During his retirement announcement, he said that the job of leading the second-largest US police department for three years had essentially ruined his health and strained relationships with his family and friends.
Johnson, 59, initially told the world (and the mayor) that he had fallen asleep at the wheel as a result of a change or “mix up” in his blood pressure medication.
Subsequent media reports, however, indicated that the chief told the mayor directly that he had had a “couple of drinks” before driving.
For her part, Mayor Lightfoot in a statement said that Johnson had obviously “engaged in a series of ethical lapses that are intolerable.” That statement followed a continuing investigation of the matter by the city’s inspector general.
Mayor Lightfoot did not bite her tongue as she dismissed the chief:
“Mr. Johnson was intentionally dishonest with me and communicated a narrative replete with false statements regarding material aspects of the incident that happened,” she said.
As indicated, on November 7, Johnson said that he would stick around through the remainder of 2019 in order to effect a smooth transition to a new top cop.
In that regard, former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck was named by Mayor Lightfoot as Chicago’s “interim” police superintendent the very next day, November 8.
In announcing Beck’s appointment, Mayor Lightfoot spoke glowingly of her pick for the interim chief’s position (a spot that had never before existed):
“We require a leader whose actions reflect the integrity and legitimacy of what it means to be a Chicago Police Officer,” Lightfoot said. “I am confident that incoming Interim Superintendent Beck is such a leader.”
Does that sound like, perhaps…maybe, just maybe…that after a respectable amount of time has passed, the mayor will dispense with the “interim” nicety because it’s fairly obvious that Beck has the inside track on becoming Chicago’s next permanent Top Cop? Just asking….just sayin’.
Lying to mayors is apparently something that former Superintendent Eddie Johnson is wont to do.
Back in 2016, when he was first appointed to the Top Cop’s job by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Johnson said that at no time during his more than twenty-seven years on the force had he ever seen any type of police misconduct whatsoever.
New Interim Supt. Johnson Says He's Never Witnessed Police Misconduct In 27 Years With CPD
CHICAGO (CBS) - On his first full day as interim Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson hit the ground running. Johnson…
Nobody in Chicago believed him then.
And, apparently, nobody (especially our rookie Mayor Lightfoot) believed his version of the events of last October 17.