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City Hall releases emails of former police Supt. Garry McCarthy

Former Supt. Garry McCarthy. | Tim Boyle / Sun-Times file photo

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration on Thursday released former Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s emails during his final weeks on the city payroll — a collection of documents that includes well-wishes from colleagues, communications with top Emanuel aides and apparent sarcasm from McCarthy.

McCarthy was forced to resign Dec. 1 in the wake of the release of a police dashcam video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times as the 17-year-old appeared to be walking away from the cop, who is now facing murder charges.

Five days later, on Dec. 6, McCarthy emailed four other people shortly after the Chicago Police Department’s news affairs office sent out a statement about the Independent Police Review Authority’s investigation of the McDonald case.

“Good time to put this out! Oh, wait. It’s a week too late,” an apparently sarcastic McCarthy wrote to James Roussell, his chief of staff; Robert Tracy, his chief of strategy; Anthony Guglielmi, the department’s spokesman; and Adam Collins, a former police spokesman who now works in Emanuel’s press office.

McCarthy, whose last day on the city payroll was Dec. 31, also received several emails praising him, including one from the man who would go on to replace him: Eddie T. Johnson.

“I know things are spinning right now, but I just wanted to drop you a line expressing my gratitude and appreciation for all that you have done for me and taught me along the way,” Johnson, then a deputy chief, wrote to McCarthy on Dec. 1. “You have done some really great things for the advancement of the agency. I wish you nothing but the best . . .”

Another veteran officer, Lt. William Kilroy, emailed McCarthy, telling him, “All those with any sense of Chicago realize that this most recent controversy was not occasioned by a lack of leadership but, rather, the expediencies of Chicago politics. Thank you for your service.”

The emails also include an almost completely redacted email from former top Emanuel aide David Spielfogel with the subject line “remarks.” It appears to be a draft of McCarthy’s resignation announcement. “i tried to capture the language as you want it,” Spielfogel wrote. “pls let me know if you have edits.”

Emanuel’s law department released the emails following a Chicago Tribune lawsuit accusing the police department of violating the state’s Freedom of Information Act by not producing the records. Cook County Circuit Judge Kathleen Pantle ordered the release of the documents on Wednesday, giving the city until early next week to produce the records.

Contributing: Tim Novak