NEWS WORLD

Chicago Mayor Lightfoot fires police chief for lying about Oct. 17 incident: mayor’s office

By Brendan O’Brien

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday fired the city’s police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, accusing him of lying to her about an incident on the night of Oct. 17 when he was found asleep in his car.

Johnson’s termination comes three weeks after he announced his retirement after leading the second-largest U.S. police force for three years, saying that the job had taken a toll on his health, family and friends.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 17, patrol officers found Johnson, 59, in his car. Johnson initially said he had fallen asleep due to blood pressure medication, but local media later reported that he told Lightfoot he had a “couple of drinks” before driving.

Lightfoot in a statement said it became clear that Johnson “engaged in a series of ethical lapses that are intolerable” after a review of the city’s ongoing investigation by the inspector general.

“Mr. Johnson was intentionally dishonest with me and communicated a narrative replete with false statements regarding material aspects of the incident that happened,” she said.

Johnson said when he retired on Nov. 7 that he would stay on the job through the rest of the year to help with the transition to a successor. Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck was made Chicago’s interim police superintendent a day later.

“We require a leader whose actions reflect the integrity and legitimacy of what it means to be a Chicago Police Officer,” Lightfoot said. “I am confident that incoming Interim Superintendent Beck is such a leader.”

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)


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