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Mayor fires Chicago's police superintendent weeks before his retirement: 'Eddie Johnson intentionally lied to me'

Gregory Pratt, John Byrne and Jeremy Gorner, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

Johnson has not explained why he was driving home from a dinner engagement at 12:30 a.m., particularly on a day he said he felt fatigued.

After suffering a blood clot this past summer, Johnson said his cardiologist "adjusted" his medication during a follow-up appointment on Tuesday. The superintendent said he removed the old medication from his weekly pillbox but had not yet obtained the new prescription, suggesting he hadn't taken his blood pressure medication for a couple of days.

Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department's chief spokesman, previously released a statement saying alcohol did not play a role in the incident.

But Johnson also admitted to Lightfoot that he had "a couple of drinks" with dinner, the mayor previously said.

Had Lightfoot known all of the facts, she wouldn't have participated in a celebratory press conference with Johnson announcing his retirement, she said.

Firing Johnson is an indication she will demand "The old Chicago way must give way to new way" of ethical leadership. Supervisors in the police department will not get away with ethical lapses, she said.


In a message the mayor sent to Chicago police officers, she wrote: "While I recognize this news comes as a surprise to most of you, this was a decision I felt was absolutely necessary to preserve the legitimacy and honor of the Chicago Police Department. I deeply respect the work that each of you undertake every day and you deserve a Superintendent who lives up to the ideals that I expect each of you to exemplify."

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