Johnson investigation now in hands of city inspector general, mayor says
‘That investigation has to be fair. It has to be independent. It has to be expeditious. And it can’t do that if I’m continuing to talk about it,’ Lightfoot said.
The investigation into CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson stemming from his being found slumped behind the wheel of his car last week is now in the hands of the city inspector general, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.
Lightfoot was asked about the status of Chicago’s top cop after an unrelated news conference in the Austin neighborhood.
Johnson asked the department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs to open its own investigation into the incident, which occurred early Thursday.
Reporters asked Lightfoot about that investigation, and whether she had concluded it was time for Johnson — who was appointed by her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel — to go.
Citing that ongoing investigation, Lightfoot declined further comment.
“I’m not going to have any more comment until that investigation is over,” Lightfoot said.
“It’s now formally going into the hands of the city’s inspector general as mandated by the consent decree,” the mayor added, referring to the federal court oversight that resulted from a Department of Justice investigation of the Chicago Police Department.
“That investigation has to be fair. It has to be independent. It has to be expeditious. And it can’t do that if I’m continuing to talk about it, so I will not have any more comment on that until the investigation itself is over.”
Johnson was discovered in his vehicle around 12:30 a.m. Thursday near the 3400 block of South Aberdeen, according to CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Guglielmi said Johnson had recently changed his medication after a visit to the doctor earlier this week. The doctor had switched Johnson’s medication, and the superintendent threw out his initial prescription but didn’t replace it with the new one.
The superintendent had worked a normal day Wednesday and went out to dinner with friends that night, Guglielmi said. On his way home, he pulled over to the side of the road and someone saw him in the vehicle and called 911.
Johnson told reporters later Thursday that he had dismissed his driver after dinner, allowing him to go home to tend to his young family.
Police and Chicago Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, and Johnson was able to drive himself home, according to police.
Guglielmi said Johnson did not exhibit any signs of intoxication. No Breathalyzer test was administered by the responding officers.
The next day, Lightfoot told the Sun-Times that Johnson told her he had “a couple of drinks” with dinner.
Contributing: Sam Charles