Disgraced former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was fired in a hailstorm of controversy after it was alleged he lied about the night he fell asleep behind the wheel of his city-issued SUV. But now it’s been revealed that despite his pattern of questionable actions, he’s still receiving a pension of almost $16,000 a month.
Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Johnson was receiving $15,800 a month, a payout that comes out to 75% of Johnson’s annual salary of roughly $253,000 which he received over his last four years running the police department.
Back in November, Johnson announced his intention to retire as an investigation into his behavior still hung over his head. Less than a month later, Mayor Lori Lightfoot abruptly fired him for being “intentionally dishonest” about what occurred in October when he was found slumped over in his vehicle.
Lightfoot accused Johnson of engaging in a series of actions that were “intolerable.” She then went on to explain that it was her belief that he had intentionally misled the public, and also behaved in a manner that was unethical in relation to the evening where he was found asleep in his car after drinking.
“Eddie Johnson intentionally lied to me,” the mayor said at the time during a morning news conference.
Johnson’s final fall from grace began around 12:30 a.m. one evening in October when officers responding to a 911 call stated that the superintendent had been found asleep in his parked car near his home.
At the time, Johnson told the press that he had failed to take the medication he’d been prescribed which resulted in him feeling groggy after a long day at work. He then went on to say that he went out to dinner with friends that night despite his fatigue and fell ill as he drove home from the meal.
However, Johnson later admitted to Lightfoot that he had “a couple of drinks” with dinner, and the mayor says had she known all of the facts, she would not have chosen to participate in the celebratory press conference where Johnson announced his retirement.
To repair that misstep, she chose to take a stance and fire Johnson as a sign to the community that, “The old Chicago way must give way to new way” of ethical leadership, where not even supervisors in the police department get a free pass.
“I did not intentionally mislead or deceive the Mayor or the people of Chicago,” Johnson responded in a December statement. “I acknowledge that I made a poor decision and had a lapse of judgment on the night of Oct. 16. That was a mistake and I know that.”