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Chicago Mayor Fires Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Saying He Lied

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Chicago’s police superintendent on Monday and accused him of lying to her about the circumstances under which he was found asleep in a parked S.U.V. in October.

The superintendent, Eddie Johnson, led the Chicago police force for more than three years and was credited with stabilizing the department at a time of escalating homicides and increased public scrutiny.

Mr. Johnson admitted that he had been drinking before being found asleep in a vehicle near his home in October, but he blamed the episode on medication.

“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,” Ms. Lightfoot said Monday. “Had I known all the facts at the time, I would have relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there.”

Mr. Johnson, a Chicago native who spent his entire career in the city’s police department, announced last month that he planned to retire at the end of the year. At the time, Ms. Lightfoot praised his service.

But on Monday, Ms. Lightfoot said a report by the city’s inspector general, which was not released publicly, led her to fire Mr. Johnson. Ms. Lightfoot said discussing the details of that report would not be “appropriate or fair to Mr. Johnson’s wife or children.” She did not say exactly what Mr. Johnson had lied about.

Charlie Beck, a former police chief in Los Angeles, was expected to arrive in Chicago later Monday to serve as interim superintendent, Ms. Lightfoot said.

Efforts to reach Mr. Johnson through a police spokesman were not immediately successful.


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