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Chicago mayor fires city’s top cop over ‘ethical lapses’

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired the city’s retiring police superintendent Monday, citing “ethical lapses” that included telling lies about a recent incident in which Eddie Johnson was found asleep at the wheel of his car after having drinks.

Named to the job in the wake of a police shooting that killed a black teenager, Johnson was dismissed after the mayor reviewed an inspector general’s report and video evidence related to the night in mid-October when officers discovered him unconscious in his SUV at a stop sign. He initially blamed his failure to take his blood pressure medication and said he had a few drinks with dinner earlier in the evening.

The officers did not conduct any sobriety tests and let their boss drive home. It was unclear if they would be disciplined.

Johnson “engaged in a series of actions that are intolerable for any leader or position of trust, particularly the head of the Chicago Police Department,” the mayor said. His conduct was “not only unbecoming but demonstrates a series of ethical lapses and flawed decision-making.”

Lightfoot said the police chief of the nation’s third-largest city repeatedly lied about the events that unfolded the night of Oct. 16 and morning of Oct. 17.

“What he portrayed to me, what he portrayed to the public was fundamentally different than what the facts show,” she said. The underlying conduct “warranted this significant and serious action of relieving him of his role.”

At a hastily called news conference, the mayor declined to offer details “out of deference” to Johnson’s family and the ongoing investigation.