Reports shed new light on Chicago police chief’s firing

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CHICAGO — Former Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson's tenure ended in controversy, and earlier than expected.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot terminated Johnson effective immediately Monday, saying an investigation into an incident when Johnson was reportedly asleep in a vehicle revealed, “actions that are intolerable for any leader.”

During a press conference Monday, Lightfoot told reporters she had reviewed the inspector general’s report of the incident, as well as video, and was left with no choice but to fire Johnson.

“I saw things that were inconsistent with what Mr. Johnson had told me personally and what he revealed to members of the public,” she said.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the city inspector general’s office obtained video of Johnson drinking for a few hours on the evening of Oct. 16 with a woman at the Ceres Cafe, a popular restaurant and bar at the Chicago Board of Trade building.

Later that night around 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 17, Johnson was spotted slumped over the wheel of his black SUV near his Bridgeport home.

Johnson initially said he'd forgotten to take his blood pressure medication and became lightheaded. But he later admitted to Lightfoot that he'd had “a couple of drinks” at dinner.

The incident has since been under investigation by Chicago's Office of the Inspector General. The investigation is not yet complete.

In November, Johnson announced he would retire at the end of the year after more than 30 years with the department.

Interim CPD Supt. Charlie Beck, who was appointed by Lightfoot last month, is now in Chicago and is taking over the department, effective immediately.

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