Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Police Supt. Eddie Johnson on Monday, saying her decision was based on his “ethical lapses.”
Lightfoot said she decided to fire Johnson after reviewing an inspector general’s report on its investigation into a recent incident in which he was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV. Lightfoot didn’t provide additional details.
“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,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Had I known all the facts at the time, I would have relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there.”
Johnson announced in November that he would retire at the end of the year after more than 30 years with the department.
Johnson, a native Chicagoan, held just about every rank on the police force. He was named superintendent in 2016 by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who had fired Superintendent Garry McCarthy after the release of the now-infamous video of Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting Laquan McDonald and was scrambling to restore confidence in both himself and the department.
Johnson oversaw an effort to hire more officers that has increased the size of the force by about 1,000. Under his leadership, the city also dramatically expanded the use of high-tech crime-fighting technology that allows officers to know almost immediately where shots are coming from, install scores more surveillance cameras and embark on the largest rollout of police body cameras in the United States.Johnson also gained national attention when actor Jussie Smollett was arrested when he allegedly staged a racist attack. Johnson called Smollett’s stunt an attack on the city itself.
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