CHICAGO — Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson admitted he “had a few drinks”after he was found “slumped over” in a car early Thursday morning, according the mayor’s office.
In an interview with the Sun-Times Friday, Mayor Lightfoot refused to say whether the superintendent should have been driving or whether he should have been given a sobriety test.
The mayor told the Sun-Times she would await the outcome of the internal investigation before determining whether the rules were bent to protect the boss and whether to hold Johnson responsible.
“While we have no indication of impropriety at this time, this question can only be answered by the internal affairs Investigation. That investigation active and ongoing,” a Chicago police spokesman said.
A 911 caller reported seeing a man “slumped over” and “asleep” in a vehicle near 34th and Aberdeen streets at a stop sign. Officers responded to the scene and the police department confirmed it was Johnson in the car.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the superintendent pulled over in his vehicle and parked near his home after feeling lightheaded around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. He was on his way home from a dinner with friends.
Officers said they did not find any signs of impairment, and Johnson drove himself home.
A police department spokesperson said doctors changed the top cop’s medication earlier this week. On Wednesday, Johnson, 60, related that he felt exhausted, Guglielmi said. On Thursday, he went to the doctor again to be evaluated related to issues concerning his blood pressure.
The spokesperson described the situation as a “health incident” but said the superintendent asked Internal Affairs to investigate.
“Whether you are a Police Officer or a Superintendent, all Officers ought to be held to the highest standard,” the superintendent said according to a police statement.
The superintendent addressed the media Thursday about the incident and said he forgot to replace his old medicine with his new medication, which left him lightheaded, which is when he pulled over at a stop sign before he “fell asleep.”
“It’s painful to admit this, but when he gave me the new medication, I took the old medication out but failed to put the new medication in,” Johnson said Thursday.
Neither a breathalyzer nor sobriety test was performed, but responding officers did have an in-person off-the-air meeting with their supervisor after the incident.
On Thursday, the superintendent’s neurologist told him his blood pressure was high.
The superintendent has suffered a series of health problems in recent years. In June, he was hospitalized after a blood clot was found following a physical examination. About two years ago, he received a kidney transplant.
The top cop’s blood pressure was not high enough to keep him home from work Thursday. However, Johnson said he promised his doctor that he would go to the ER again to get checked out.