CPD superintendent fired: 'Eddie Johnson repeatedly lied to me,' Lightfoot says

Updated 12/2/2019 11:40 AM

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has fired Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, saying he lied to her repeatedly.

Lightfoot on Monday cited an incident in October in which Johnson was found asleep in his car near his Bridgeport home. He said he neglected to take a prescribed medication and became lightheaded before he decided to pull over, but Lightfoot said he told her that he also had "a couple of drinks" at dinner before driving home.


Since then, the city's Office of the Inspector General has been investigating the incident, and Lightfoot said that investigation showed "Eddie Johnson repeatedly lied to me."

Johnson was at City Hall Monday morning but departed before Lightfoot's news conference.

"The old Chicago way must give way to the new reality" of ethical leadership and accountability, Lightfoot said. "There must be no mistake about the message I am sending today."

A statement issued by the mayor's office said the investigation is ongoing, but based on "a thorough review" of materials gathered during the probe, "it has become clear that Mr. Johnson engaged in a series of ethical lapses that are intolerable. Mr. Johnson was intentionally dishonest with me and communicated a narrative replete with false statements regarding material aspects of the incident that happened in the early morning hours of Oct. 17. Had I known all the facts at the time, I would have relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there."

Instead, Lightfoot took part in what she called a "celebratory press conference" in early November when Johnson announced his retirement.

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At the same time, the city announced that retired Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck would serve as interim superintendent until Johnson was gone.

With Johnson gone, Beck will take the reins early.

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