Sexual assault lawsuit filed against former CPD superintendent Eddie Johnson

Chicago News

CHICAGO — A sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against former Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson and the City of Chicago.

The suit alleges that Johnson repeatedly sexually assaulted and harassed officer Cynthia Donald for more than three years while he was the city’s top cop.

A press conference was held Thursday afternoon with Donald and her lawyers.

According to the lawsuit filed Thursday, Donald alleges Johnson forced her to have sex and “carried out many unwanted and unwelcomed sexual acts” on Donald in his office at CPD headquarters.

For more than threes years, I was subjected to unwanted and uninvited sexual abuse, harassment, intimidation and a hostile work environment,” Donald said.

The lawsuit claims Johnson forced Donald into sexual acts over several years and said, “‘The City owes you another check for making my workday easier” and “you get me through this job.'”

Also according to the lawsuit, Johnson kept alcoholic beverages in his office at CPD headquarters “and on several occasions plied Plaintiff with alcohol into performing unwanted sexual acts.”

The former top cop issued the following statement regarding the allegations:

“The allegations of sexual assault and harassment made by Ms. Donald never happened. Her accusations are not only patently false, they are egregiously dehumanizing towards true victims who have truly suffered sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. The claims are an affront to everything I believe in and stand for. I pray for Ms. Donald’s well-being and look forward to the opportunity where the facts can be presented.”

He referred to me as his girl,” said Donald. “At times when I was able to avoid his sexual advances he would tell me ‘you got away this time.'”

Donald was with Johnson on the night in October 2019 in which Johnson was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car.

The inspector general’s report said Johnson drank “several large servings of rum” at Ceres Cafe with a female member of his security detail. WGN Investigates has confirmed that woman was Donald.

The IG report said Johnson drove Donald to police headquarters around 10:30 p.m. and then headed home. However, the former top cop stopped for nearly two hours on the street with his vehicle running. Just after midnight, someone called 911. Officers responded and spoke to Johnson and officers let Johnson go without a field sobriety test.

The incident eventually led to the end of Johnson’s career with CPD.

Chicago’s law department sent the following statement.

“We are aware of the lawsuit filed by Cynthia Donald against Mr. Johnson and the City. Mr. Johnson was terminated from his role as superintendent in connection with his conduct during the events of October 16-17, 2019. We cannot comment on the specific allegations, which, if true, would be inexcusable. Mayor Lightfoot emphatically denies, and common sense dictates, that Eddie Johnson ever told the Mayor about allegations of abuse or harassment of Cynthia Donald by Eddie Johnson. Ms. Donald’s lawyers never claimed otherwise.”

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