Former top cop wants Mayor Lightfoot to give deposition in sexual assault and harassment case
City Hall lawyers have argued that written questions are more appropriate under the standard for seeking information from high-level government officials.
Former Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson and the officer suing him for sexual harassment and assault want a federal judge to order Mayor Lori Lightfoot to sit for a deposition in the case.
That’s according to a joint court filing Monday from Johnson and officer Cynthia Donald. It says Donald plans to sit for a deposition in March, and Johnson plans to do so in April.
Meanwhile, their attorneys say, City Hall “continues to try to rewrite the facts and the law in order [to] escape the reality that [the mayor] has unique personal knowledge about contested facts.”
City lawyers have said they’d rather have the pair’s lawyers submit written questions to Lightfoot. A status hearing in the case is set for Tuesday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole.
Donald’s lawsuit alleges that while serving as Chicago’s top cop, Johnson “engaged in shockingly violent, abusive, and harassing conduct” toward Donald, including forced kissing, touching and oral and vaginal sex. It said much of the conduct occurred in his office at CPD headquarters, where Donald was assigned.
Johnson has denied the allegations.
Attorneys for Donald and Johnson wrote in their filing Monday that Lightfoot had a meeting with Johnson on Oct. 17, 2019, where they discussed his relationship with Donald. The attorneys wrote that Lightfoot told Johnson “to take swift, adverse and retaliatory employment action” against Donald.
The mayor allegedly called Donald a “b—-” and ordered Johnson during the meeting to send Donald to work in a different police district. Lightfoot allegedly told him, “I want that f—ing sh– done today. There will be no debate about it, no conversation. I want it done, and I want it done by the end of today.”
City Hall lawyers have suggested the attempt to secure Lightfoot’s deposition is “more a pressure tactic than it is a genuine attempt to obtain relevant information.” They’ve argued that written questions are more appropriate under the standard for seeking information from high-level government officials.
The mayor’s spokeswoman did not respond immediately to a request for comment.