CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A report from Chicago’s Inspector General sheds more light on the circumstances that led former Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to be fired.
Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s second quarter report for 2020 released Thursday concludes that Superintendent Eddie Johnson was seen by police officers driving drunk the night he was found asleep at the wheel of his running city-issued vehicle; and he let a member of his security detail, with whom he had be drinking, also drive home intoxicated. It also revealed Johnson drove erratically through the Bridgeport neighborhood as officers followed him home.
The IG's quarterly report noted video footage of Johnson and his female driver consuming large amounts of alcohol before leaving a bar.
After the incident came to light, Johnson said he would launch an internal affairs investigation, but the IG report said that did not happen.
Last October, police officers were called to the corner of 34th Place and and Aberdeen Street where they found then-Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, slumped at the wheel of his still running vehicle. The Inspector General’s office said Chicago Police officers were called to the scene by a member of the public and found Johnson in the vehicle.
Police body cameras showed the officer waking Johnson up, and him telling them he is good to drive; then, the cameras are turned off.
The IG's report revealed independent cameras show Johnson driving home erratically, followed by police cars.
At the time, Johnson blamed the incident on a blood-pressure medication mix-up that had left him feeling faint after going out with friends for dinner. The Mayor later revealed to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Fran Spielman that Johnson had been drinking that night.
Among the IG's other findings, Johnson had been drinking with a security detail member and driver, and then allowed her to drive home drunk. The report said Johnson made several false statements - publicly saying he was out with a group of friends and that he would launch an internal affairs investigation - neither was true.
Inspector General Joe Ferguson recommended that the Superintendent be fired and put on the city's "do not hire" list. At first, Mayor Lightfoot allowed him to announce his retirement, but then fired him saying that he had lied to her about the circumstances.
The full quarterly report can be found on OIG’s website.