Crime Mayor Lori Lightfoot Fires CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson For Lying About Incident When He Fell Asleep At The Wheel Of His Car
'I made a poor decision': Fired Chicago police superintendent speaks out
Johnson, who was fired after more than three years as head of the police department, did acknowledge: "I made a poor decision.""I did not intentionally mislead or deceive the Mayor or the people of Chicago," he said in a statement, while also acknowledging "I made a poor decision and had a lapse of judgment" in connection to an October incident in which he was found asleep behind the wheel of his car.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot has fired Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, after reviewing an inspector general’s investigation into Johnson being found passed out behind the wheel of his car in October.
“It has become clear that Mr. Johnson engaged in a series of actions that are intolerable for any leader in a position of trust,” she said Monday morning at City Hall. “The finding of the inspector general’s report regarding Mr. Johnson, which I recently reviewed, makes clear that Eddie Johnson engaged in conduct that is not only umbecoming, but demonstrated a series of ethical lapses and flawed decision-making that is inconsistent with having the privilege of leading the Chicago Police Department.
Chicago's Top Cop Fired Before Retirement: Mayor
Despite planning to serve through the end of the year before his retirement, Chicago's top cop was abruptyl fired a month early, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday. Lightfoot said Supt. Eddie Johnson "engaged in a series of actions intolerable for any leader in a position of trust," citing both the results of an inspector general's report on the shooting of Laquan McDonald and allegations he lied about what happened the night he was found slumped behind the wheel of a car in the city. Read Supt.
Mayor Lightfoot says Supt. Johnson's actions were "intolerable" for any leader in a position of trust.
Lightfoot says Johnson used "flawed decision making" and "intentionally mislead the public. "
— Audrina Bigos (@AudrinaBigos)
The mayor said the inspector general determined Johnson intentionally misled the public at a press conference after the incident, in which he blamed the incident on a mix-up with his medication, but did not mention that he had been drinking before he fell asleep behind the wheel of his car.
“He was not caught off-guard, and he had plenty of time to choose his words, and the choice he made was to communicate a narrative replete with false statements, all seemingly intended to hide the true nature of his conduct from the evening before,” she said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot fires Chicago’s police superintendent weeks before his retirement: ‘Eddie Johnson intentionally lied to me’
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has fired police Superintendent Eddie Johnson for intentionally misleading the public and acting unethically in relation to the night where he was found asleep in his car after drinking. Lightfoot said Johnson had engaged in a series of actions that are “intolerable.” “Eddie Johnson intentionally lied to me,” Lightfoot said at a morning news conference. As a result of the Mayor Lori Lightfoot has fired police Superintendent Eddie Johnson for intentionally misleading the public and acting unethically in relation to the night where he was found asleep in his car after drinking.
Lightfoot also said Johnson lied to her when they personally discussed the incident.
“Even when I challenged him about the narrative that he shared with me, he maintained that he was telling the truth. I now know definitively that he was not,” she said.
However, Lightfoot has not revealed if Ferguson’s office specifically determined Johnson was drunk. The mayor said Ferguson’s office is still investigating the actions of others involved in the incident.
Lightfoot said, had she known then what she knows now, she would not have allowed Johnson to simply retire, much less held a press conference to celebrate his 31-year career on the force.
“When there are ethical lapses, lapses in judgment, particularly in a position of trust like the superintendent of police, then it is incumbent upon me and all of us to ensure accountability,” she said. “That’s why I decided to take this clear and decisive action today. The old Chicago way must give way to the new reality. Ethical leadership, integrity, accountability, legitimacy and – yes – honesty must be the hallmarks of city government.”
Chicago police superintendent's firing raises hopes mayor can fix department
Mayor Lori Lightfoot's decision to oust Johnson this week "shows how serious she is about wanting to clean up the department," one observer said.It was a job that Johnson said he never sought, and his surprise ascension came as the city was reeling from the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white officer and accusations of a police cover-up .
The mayor declined to discuss the specifics of Ferguson’s investigation until his report is made public.
Johnson and Lightfoot had announced last month that he would be retiring at the end of the year, and at the time insisted the decision had nothing to do with the investigation into Johnson.
Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has been named as interim superintendent while the Chicago Police Board conducts a nationwide search for Johnson’s permanent successor.
Beck has been shadowing Johnson on the job for nearly a month, and will now take the reins of the department as Johnson steps down.
Lightfoot said she didn’t take the decision to fire Johnson lightly, “however the circumstances demanded these actions.”
Johnson was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV early on Oct. 17, after he had gone out for dinner with a group of friends the night before. Speaking before a Police Board meeting the evening after the incident, Johnson blamed the incident on a mix-up in which he failed to take his blood pressure medication, and a feeling that he might faint that prompted him to pull over and rest.
Chicago mayor fires police superintendent weeks before his retirement
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired police Superintendent Eddie Johnson effective immediately Monday for intentionally misleading her and the public about his conduct when he was found asleep in his running vehicle at a stop sign after a late weeknight out in October. CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired police Superintendent Eddie Johnson effective immediately Monday for intentionally misleading her and the public about his conduct when he was found asleep in his running vehicle at a stop sign after a late weeknight out in October.
Lightfoot later told the Sun-Times that Johnson had admitted to her in a phone call that he’d had “a couple of drinks with dinner” that night. However, the superintendent made no mention of drinking when he spoke about the incident publicly, and officers who responded to the scene of the incident did not perform a sobriety test on Johnson.
A woman who had seen Johnson slumped over in his SUV had called 911 to report someone sleeping at a stop sign, according to CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. When officers arrived at the scene, they did not see any signs of impairment, and let their boss drive home without administering a field sobriety test.
Johnson said he fell asleep when he pulled over. He has said he would have been better off having a driver with him after going out for dinner the night of the incident, but both he and his usual driver had already worked all day and he sent his driver home.
The superintendent added that he had visited his cardiologist twice in the days before the incident to follow up on a blood clot that he experienced this summer, and his doctor had changed his blood pressure medication. Johnson said he inadvertently forgot to take his new medication on the day of the incident, after throwing out his old medicine.
Hours after the incident, Johnson requested an investigation by the Internal Affairs Division, citing the need for transparency. Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson later took over the investigation.
Johnson and Lightfoot have declined to comment on the ongoing investigation of the superintendent, including whether or not he’s been questioned or subpoenaed by Ferguson’s office.
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Inspector General To Investigate Incident With Supt. Johnson
The Chicago Inspector General's office will investigate an incident in which police Supt. Eddie Johnson was found slumped over the wheel of his car. CBS 2's ...