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Fired Chicago police chief issues statement on ouster, admits making 'a poor decision'


Details continue to emerge surrounding the incident that led to Eddie Johnson's dismissal

Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Image

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has issued a statement in response to his firing by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and admits he made "a poor decision" the night he was found by passersby asleep in his vehicle at a stop sign.

What are the details?

Lightfoot fired Johnson Monday morning, saying an ongoing investigation by the Inspector General shows Johnson lied to her and to the public about key facts surrounding the incident where Johnson claimed he became lightheaded and pulled over as a precaution before was discovered behind the wheel at around 12:30 a.m. on October 17.

The mayor did not detail what Johnson allegedly lied about, out of respect, she said, for the former chief's wife and children.

While Johnson admitted to having a few drinks with friends on the night in question, the Chicago Sun-Times referred to the incident as "an embarrassing drinking-and-driving incident." The outlet reported that sources claim Johnson "was actually drinking for hours with a member of his security detail, a woman, at a downtown restaurant."

In a statement published by the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, Johnson wrote that while he was disappointed that he would not be able to serve as superintendent through the end of the year when he planned to retire, he respects Mayor Lightfoot's decision. Johnson insisted, "I did not intentionally mislead or deceive the Mayor or the people of Chicago."

"I acknowledge that I made a poor decision and had a lapse of judgment on the night of October 16," Johnson continued. "That was a mistake and I know that."

Anything else?

Johnson has been replaced for the time being by his friend and former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, Fox News reported. During an unrelated press conference on Tuesday, Beck told reporters, "This is not at all how I envisioned the transition, but — and I think this is very important — this will not deter the transition."

"None of us are perfect," Beck added. "Everybody makes mistakes. But we have to live with that. We have to live with our errors."

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