Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Fires Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson for Intolerable ‘Ethical Lapses’

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she has fired Police Supt. Eddie Johnson due to his intolerable ‘ethical lapses’ effective immediately.

Mayor Lightfoot said her decision was made after a review of an inspector general’s report following investigation of a recent incident when Supt. Eddie Johnson was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV, and after his acknowledgement to the mayor that he had consumed a ‘couple of drinks” with dinner that night.

Lightfoot spoke of Johnson’s behavior as “actions that are intolerable for any leader.” Mayor Lightfoot didn’t provide additional details, but said there is additional information about Johnson’s conduct that she is not revealing “out of deference to his wife and children.”

Johnson announced in early November that he would retire at the end of the year after more than 30 years with the Chicago Police Department. Now with the sudden firing of Johnson, retired Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck will take over as interim police superintendent. However, Beck said in early November that he is not interested in the permanent position. Beck served as LAPD’s police chief for eight years before retiring in 2018. He served on LAPD for over 40 years.

Mayor’s Full Statement

“Today, I am announcing that I have terminated Eddie Johnson’s employment with the City of Chicago, effective immediately. 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. 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 October 17. Had I known all the facts at the time, I would have relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there.

“Perhaps worst of all, Mr. Johnson has misled the people of Chicago. The 13,400 sworn and civilian members of the Chicago Police Department who work hard every day deserve a leader who they can believe in. In public life, we must be accountable for our actions and strive to do better every day. 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. I am confident that incoming Interim Superintendent Beck is such a leader, and that both he and the eventual permanent superintendent will serve with honor.”

— Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Johnson announced on Thursday November 7, 2019 that he would retire at the end of the year after more than 30 years with the Chicago Police Department.

Johnson, grew up in Chicago and rose the ranks from the position of Chicago patrol officer. Johnson was named Chicago Police Department Superintendent in 2016 by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He followed Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was fired after the release of the previously secured video of Officer Jason Van Dyke’s fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.

Chicago`s mayor on Friday November 8, 2019 named former Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck to serve as Chicago`s interim police superintendent, a day after the city`s top police officer announced he`s retiring.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced Thursday November 7, 2019 that he is retiring as the city`s top cop.

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