CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot was reportedly interviewed twice by the city’s Inspector General before firing Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, as part of the IG's investigation into the incident where Johnson was found asleep at the wheel.
Mayor Lightfoot acknowledged when Eddie Johnson announced he was retiring she would likely be interviewed by Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.
According to the Tribune, emails obtained show Ferguson’s office scheduled two separate interviews, each scheduled for an hour-and-a-half, with Lightfoot and her chief of staff, Maurice Classen, before Lightfoot announced Johnson was being fired, saying he lied to her. It’s unknown what investigators asked Lightfoot.
“Issues regarding the mayor’s interactions with the former superintendent regarding the circumstances that resulted in his termination have been well covered in news accounts previously,” Lightfoot’s office said in a statement acknowledging the interview. “As this matter pertains to a personnel issue, the mayor’s office will have no further comment.”
Lightfoot has refused to release Ferguson’s full report on the matter. The mayor and her administration have repeatedly said Ferguson’s report on the Johnson case doesn’t meet the legal criteria for release.
Ferguson’s office declined to comment on the Lightfoot interview through a spokeswoman, and he has declined to say whether he believes the report should be released, according to the Trubune.
Ferguson opened an investigation shortly after Johnson was found asleep at the wheel at 34th Place and Aberdeen Street in the Bridgeport neighborhood on the night of Oct. 16. Johnson publicly blamed the incident on his failure to take blood pressure medication, but privately told Lightfoot he had “a couple of drinks” with dinner that evening.
Johnson was caught on video drinking at a bar for three hours with his female driver, but there is more to the story.