Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was unexpectedly fired Monday just weeks before he was set to retire, ending a rocky, three-year tenure as head of a department marked by controversial police shootings, court-supervised reforms and its handling of high-profile arrests.
But in announcing his firing, Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggested it was Johnson's personal failures when he was found asleep behind the wheel of his car on Oct. 17 and for what he told investigators that played into the decision to end his employment.
"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," Lightfoot said in a statement ahead of a news conference in which she rebuked Johnson for his conduct.
"Eddie Johnson intentionally lied to me several times even when I challenged him about the narrative that he shared with me," she later said. "He maintained that he was telling the truth. I now know definitively that he was not."
Eddie Johnson has been fired as Chicago’s police superintendent weeks before his retirement after Mayor Lori Lightfoot says he engaged in a series of actions that are “intolerable” https://t.co/SPmn88Wgzg— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) December 2, 2019
CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson made mistakes, and I thought it was dumb that he avoided IACP because Trump spoke.— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) December 2, 2019
But, firing the guy after decades of service weeks before his retirement was just another anti-cop move from Chicago's rabidly anti-cop mayor.https://t.co/iwsppvQvai
One month ago: @ChicagosMayor defends Johnson against Trump's attacks (Lightfoot: "Superintendent Eddie Johnson is a lifelong Chicagoan who has dedicated his career to public service") https://t.co/tvWciphpEY— Zoe Galland (@zoegalland) December 2, 2019