Chicago's mayor fired Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson Monday, a month before his expected retirement, following new revelations related to an incident when he was found asleep in his car after drinking.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Johnson was terminated "for cause" after she reviewed facts from an inspector general's ongoing investigation of the Oct. 16 incident when Johnson, 59, was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV at a stop sign.
Johnson later called for an investigation of his own actions, saying he fell asleep because of a change in his blood pressure medication. Lightfoot later told the Chicago Sun-Times Johnson said that night he had "a couple of drinks with dinner."
"It has become clear that Mr. Johnson engaged in a series of actions that are intolerable for any leader in a position of trust," Lightfoot said Monday.
Lightfoot did not elaborate on the details of the new findings but said Johnson's actions were "unbecoming" and "demonstrated a series of ethical lapses and flawed decision-making." Johnson intentionally misled her and the public, the mayor said.
"The choice he made was to communicate a narrative replete with false statements," she said.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Mayor Lightfoot to make an announcement from City Hall. Tune in! https://t.co/jFXWVBlqMu— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) December 2, 2019
Had she known of the new details earlier, Lightfoot said she would have immediately removed Johnson from office, rather than participating in a "celebratory press conference to announce his retirement."
Lightfoot said she met with Johnson Monday morning to relieve him and his response was “accepting."
'This job has taken its toll': Chicago's top police officer Eddie Johnson to retire
The mayor said she hoped the development would mark a turning point for the Chicago Police Department, and called for a "culture change" starting at the top.
"Time and again, lying police officers are held accountable for their actions, but their supervisors get a pass. Even when the supervisors were aware of or directed the conduct at issue," Lightfoot said. "The old Chicago way must give way to the new reality."
Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who was expected to take over from Johnson as interim superintendent next month, will begin work Monday, Lightfoot added.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson fired before retirement