Close on the heels of a highly publicized battle with the Chicago Teachers’ Union, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is making headlines again for firing Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, just a few weeks before his retirement, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Lightfoot claims that Johnson “intentionally lied” to her about an October incident during which he was found asleep in his running vehicle at a stop sign.
She gave three reasons for firing Johnson, who served 3 1/2 years at the helm of the department, including that he “engaged in conduct that is not only unbecoming but demonstrated a series of ethical lapses and flawed decision-making;” “that the superintendent called a news conference later the day of the incident in which he communicated “a narrative replete with false statements, all seemingly intended to hide the true nature of his conduct from the evening before; and because Johnson continued to lie to her several times, “even when I challenged him about the narrative that he shared with me.”
On October 17 at approximately 12:30 a.m., police officers responding to a 911 call discovered Johnson asleep behind the wheel of his car near his home. He claimed at the time that he hadn’t taken his blood pressure medication and was simply tired after eating dinner. Officers allowed Johnson to drive home without testing him for substance use, according to the Tribune.
According to Lightfoot, Johnson’s termination could “be a turning point for the Chicago Police Department and the way things are done in this city.”
Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck will serve as interim police superintendent.