Ex-chief says he didn’t intentionally ‘deceive’ anyone

AP

Print Article

  • FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks as Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announces his retirement after more than three years leading the department in Chicago. Mayor Lightfoot fired Police Supt. Eddie Johnson Monday Dec. 2, 2019, due to his "ethical lapses."(AP Photo/Teresa Crawford File)

  • 1

    FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2019 file photo, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson speaks in Chicago. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she has fired Police Supt. Johnson due to his "ethical lapses" Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast File)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks as Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announces his retirement after more than three years leading the department in Chicago. Mayor Lightfoot fired Police Supt. Eddie Johnson Monday Dec. 2, 2019, due to his "ethical lapses."(AP Photo/Teresa Crawford File)

  • 1

    FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2019 file photo, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson speaks in Chicago. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she has fired Police Supt. Johnson due to his "ethical lapses" Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast File)

CHICAGO (AP) — Ousted Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Tuesday that he didn’t “intentionally mislead or deceive” anyone about the mid-October night he was found sleeping behind the wheel of his SUV.

Johnson, 59, released a statement through his attorney a day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired him for “ethical lapses,” just weeks before he was set to retire. She said an inspector general’s report, which hasn’t been released publicly, revealed he misled her and the public about the circumstances of that evening and showed “flawed decision-making.”

Two Chicago newspapers published reports Monday night that seem to contradict Johnson’s public account in which he blamed an issue with his medication, saying he felt lightheaded while driving home and fell asleep after pulling over. Lightfoot said he’d told her he had “a couple of drinks with dinner.”

But the Chicago Sun-Times reported he was drinking for hours with a female member of his security detail at a downtown restaurant. The Chicago Tribune reported that the inspector general’s investigation includes video showing Johnson drinking for hours with a woman at a Chicago Board of Trade building restaurant. Both newspapers attributed the information to sources they didn’t identify.

“One thing I want everyone to know is this: I did not intentionally mislead or deceive the Mayor or the people of Chicago,” Johnson said in the statement. “I acknowledge that I made a poor decision and had a lapse of judgment on the night of October 16. That was a mistake and I know that.”

Johnson said he has “no interest in fighting a battle” for his reputation after three decades with the police department.

“Reputations are not built in a day and not damaged in a day either,” he said. “I will simply rely on the reputation for integrity that I think I have earned during my long career, with the faith that we should all be judged by the entirety of our lives and not on what happened on our worst days.

Messages left Tuesday with city and police spokesmen weren’t immediately returned. Johnson’s attorney, Tom Needham, said Tuesday that the former police chief would not have comments beyond his statement.

Lightfoot fiercely criticized Johnson Monday for a series of ‘’intolerable” actions, at a City Hall news conference, including lying to her and public about that evening. She said an inspector general’s report, which includes video evidence, showed a different account. She declined to discuss it.

“While at some point, the inspector general’s report may become public and those details may be revealed, I don’t feel like it is appropriate or fair to Mr. Johnson’s wife or children to do so at this time,” Lightfoot said.

Johnson, who during his term as chief has been hospitalized for a blood clot and a kidney transplant, was found in his car by officers early Oct. 17. The officers did not conduct any sobriety tests and let their boss drive home. It was unclear if they would be disciplined. The Tribune reports that Johnson partially rolled down the window on his police vehicle, showed his superintendent’s badge and drove away.

Johnson was set to retire at the end of the month after three decades with the Chicago Police Department. Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who was named as an interim replacement, took over Monday and spent the day meeting with department officials.

“This is not at all how I envisioned the transition but, and I think this is very important, this will not deter the transition,” he said Tuesday at a news conference on an illegal gun operation. “You know, Superintendent Johnson and I will talk. We have talked. He has the best interests of the city and CPD at heart as do I.”

He said he and Johnson are friends, but everyone has to be accountable.

“None of us are perfect. Everybody makes mistakes,” Beck said. “But we have to live with that. We have to live with our errors.”

__

Associated Press writer Kathleen Foody contributed to this report.

___

Follow Sophia Tareen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiatareen.

Print Article

Read More National News

Official: Base shooter watched shooting videos before attack

AP

December 07, 2019 at 4:41 pm | PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — The Saudi student who fatally shot three people at a U.S. naval base in Florida hosted a dinner party earlier in the week where he and three others watched videos of mass shoot...

Comments

Read More

Family recounts heroics of fallen son in Pensacola shooting

AP

December 07, 2019 at 4:05 pm | TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Joshua Watson had just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and looked forward to a military career as a pilot. On Saturday, he was being hailed a hero, as his family recoun...

Comments

Read More

Minnesota National Guard identifies 3 killed in copter crash

AP

December 07, 2019 at 3:55 pm | ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota National Guard says the three soldiers who were killed when their helicopter crashed near St. Cloud this week were part of a unit that returned last May from a n...

Comments

Read More

Aging survivors return to Pearl Harbor to recall '41 attack

AP

December 07, 2019 at 1:45 pm | PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — A dozen frail survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor returned Saturday to honor those who perished when Japanese planes pierced a quiet sunny morning 78 years ago and rai...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X