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Mayor’s office: Eddie Johnson no longer employed by Chicago Police Department

Johnson remained on the city’s payroll Tuesday, returning to his career service rank of lieutenant, but the mayor’s office said Wednesday that he had officially retired.

Former Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson
Former Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson
Sun-Times file photo

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced late Wednesday that former Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has officially retired from the police department.

Although Johnson had been fired Monday as the city’s $260,044-a-year police superintendent, Johnson remained on the city’s payroll Tuesday, returning to his career service rank of lieutenant. But the mayor’s office said he was no longer employed as of Wednesday, ending a 31-year-career with the force.

“We have been informed that effective today, Mr. Johnson retired from his career service rank and is no longer employed by the Chicago Police Department,” the statement from the mayor’s office read.

Johnson had planned to retire at the end of the month, and former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck was appointed as interim superintendent while Johnson’s replacement could be found.

But earlier this week, Lightfoot said she had ousted Johnson from this top cop role after she accused him of “lying to me and lying to the public” about the circumstances surrounding an Oct. 17 incident in which he was found slumped over in his police SUV with the engine running near the 3400 block of South Aberdeen Street.

Johnson originally said he had changed his medication, but told the mayor that he had “a couple of drinks” during a “dinner with friends.” But sources said he spent three hours drinking at a restaurant with a female officer whom he promoted to his security detail shortly after becoming superintendent.

Johnson later issued a statement denying he mislead the mayor or the public, although he acknowledged a “lapse in judgement.”

Despite the termination, Johnson will still be able to collect his pension.

Now, multiple police employees are under investigation for allegedly engaging in a widespread cover-up to protect Johnson.

On Wednesday, Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham accused Lightfoot of jumping the gun in firing Johnson so that she could make the case for hiring an outsider as superintendent.

Contributing: Fran Spielman, Frank Main and Sam Charles