Washington (AFP) – The mayor of Chicago fired the police chief on Monday of the third-largest city in the United States, six weeks after he was found asleep slumped over the wheel of his vehicle.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said police superintendent Eddie Johnson, who had been scheduled to retire at the end of the year, had been dismissed with immediate effect.
“It has become clear that Mr. Johnson engaged in a series of ethical lapses that are intolerable,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
Johnson, who was named to head Chicago’s 13,400-strong police force in 2016, was found asleep in his vehicle at a stop sign in October.
He initially said it was because he had failed to take prescription medication but later admitted he had a couple of drinks.
“Mr. Johnson was intentionally dishonest with me and communicated a narrative replete with false statements regarding material aspects of the incident that happened in the early morning hours of October 17,” Lightfoot said.
“Had I known all the facts at the time, I would have relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there.”
Lightfoot, who took office in May, has pledged to crack down on gun violence in Chicago.
There were 578 murders last year in Chicago, the third-largest city in the country after New York and Los Angeles.