Former Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who was fired on Monday in connection with an incident in which he was found asleep in his car, admitted to a “lapse in judgment” but denied deliberately misleading the public or Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), according to The Associated Press.
Lightfoot announced Johnson’s ouster Monday, saying a not-yet-public inspector general’s report contradicted Johnson’s account of the incident, which he said happened after a medication issue prompted him to feel lightheaded and to pull over.
While Johnson publicly said and privately told Lightfoot that he had “a couple of drinks” with dinner, both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times reported he spent hours drinking with an unnamed woman. The Sun-Times said she was a female member of his security detail.
“One thing I want everyone to know is this: I did not intentionally mislead or deceive the Mayor or the people of Chicago,” Johnson said in a statement released through his attorney, according to the AP. “I acknowledge that I made a poor decision and had a lapse of judgment on the night of October 16. That was a mistake and I know that.”
“Reputations are not built in a day and not damaged in a day either,” he said. “I will simply rely on the reputation for integrity that I think I have earned during my long career, with the faith that we should all be judged by the entirety of our lives and not on what happened on our worst days.”
Johnson, who had planned to retire at the end of the month, has been replaced in the short term by ex-Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.
“This is not at all how I envisioned the transition but, and I think this is very important, this will not deter the transition,” Beck said at a Tuesday news conference, according to the AP. “You know, Superintendent Johnson and I will talk. We have talked. He has the best interests of the city and CPD at heart as do I.”