Boots & Sabers

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2017, 02 Dec 19

Chicago Mayor Fires Police Superintendent Weeks Before Retirement

The mayor acted too hastily here:

Sources told the Chicago Tribune that the city inspector general’s office, which has been investigating the October incident, obtained video footage showing Johnson drinking for a few hours on the evening of Oct. 16 with a woman who was not his wife at the Ceres Cafe, a popular restaurant and bar at the Chicago Board of Trade building.

Later that night, when officers responded to a 911 call near Johnson’s home in the Bridgeport neighborhood about 12:30 a.m. Oct. 7, Johnson rolled down the window on his police vehicle partway, flashed his superintendent’s badge and drove off, sources said.

A Ceres employee who identified himself as a general manager declined to comment Monday.

On Monday, Lightfoot told reporters she had reviewed the inspector general’s report into the incident as well as videotaped evidence that left her with no choice but to fire Johnson.

“I saw things that were inconsistent with what Mr. Johnson had told me personally and what he revealed to members of the public,” she said.

With the inspector general’s report still not public, Lightfoot declined to be more specific about what the videotaped evidence showed but hinted that it would be hurtful to Johnson’s family.

“While at some point the IG’s report may become public and those details may be revealed, I don’t feel like it’s appropriate or fair to Mr. Johnson’s wife or children to do so at this time,” she said.

Sources said Lightfoot moved to fire Johnson before the superintendent had even been interviewed by the inspector general’s office as part of its investigation.

The mayor said she personally delivered the news Monday morning to Johnson, the fourth of the last six superintendents to be fired or resign amid scandal. She gave three reasons for dumping him:

— That he “engaged in conduct that is not only unbecoming but demonstrated a series of ethical lapses and flawed decision-making” in the October incident.

— That the superintendent called a news conference later the day of the incident in which he communicated “a narrative replete with false statements, all seemingly intended to hide the true nature of his conduct from the evening before.”

— That Johnson intentionally lied to the mayor several times, “even when I challenged him about the narrative that he shared with me.”

The facts that Lightfoot shared, if true, are certainly unbecoming of the superintendent and may justify his firing, but the investigation is not complete. Also, the full details of the investigation have not been made public, so the mayor’s claim that she wants to protect his family rings hollow.

I suspect that this is the real reason for Lightfoot’s hasty decision:

Johnson had been plucked from relative obscurity as chief of patrol in April 2016 when then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel bypassed three finalists chosen by the Chicago Police Board and appointed him superintendent.

Johnson was clearly Emanuel’s “guy” and Lightfoot wanted to send a clear message that she’s the new sheriff in town. In doing so, she may have alienated a good chunk of the police force and exacerbated the friction between the police force and the public.

2017, 02 December 2019


  1. Merlin

    Chicago’s police union agrees with Johnson’s firing. The same group issued a vote of no confidence in Johnson just this past October, so there doesn’t appear to be much, if any, rank and file heartburn over Johnson’s sudden departure.

    The clown knew he wasn’t Lightfoot’s guy. Knew he was very close to retirement. And still he couldn’t behave himself. No sympathy here.

  2. Kevin Scheunemann

    Pathetic liberal leadership.

  3. Le Roi du Nord


    Why do you think that is the case?  Or just another opportunity for a gratuitous slap at folks with opinions different than yours?

  4. Mar

    Not speaking for Kevin, but are really serious Le Roi, really, you have to be kidding. Other than a few pockets where millionaires live, Chicago us a dump. It’s a tax hell and worse, a murder hell. You have to be a dumb racist to defend Chicago and its liberal policies.

  5. Kevin Scheunemann

    Nord is in denial about awful liberal leadership in Chicago.

    Not surprised.

  6. Le Roi du Nord

    m andk:

    Just curious, did either one of you read the article posted?  FYI: It is about an elected executive dismissing an appointed official “for cause”.  You may disagree with the end result, and it looks like there are differing opinions even on this short thread.  I’m sure there are some background facts that trigger your knee jerk reactions that have nothing to do with the facts in the case.  Calling me a racist makes no sense whatsoever, but not much the highly educated mar says ever does.

    You two are soooo predictable.

  7. Kevin Scheunemann


    For cause is a political decision here.

    Drinking at a bar and a nebulous police contact is hardly ground for firing. If it was, no liberal would have a job.

    This is retribution for finding truth in disgusting Smollett hoax.

    You are blind to the world.

  8. Kevin Scheunemann

    So, “disgusting liberal leadership”.

  9. Merlin

    The patronage system of political corruption in Chicago is legendary, so it’s pretty tough to identify good guys when it comes to anything Chicago, but “Special Ed” Johnson was elevated to Superintendent by the very same patronage system that eventually kicked his ass to the curb. That system benefitted Johnson immensely. Special Ed is not a victim here.

    Johnson was found passed out in a running car by patrol officers responding to a female’s 911 call. When officers finally roused Johnson he flashed his badge through the window and drove off. By that time there was supervisory and command staff present. His attempted coverup of the incident put the responding officers in severe career jeopardy. Several are still likely to face disciplinary action as a result of Johnson’s inability to man up to the situation. Johnson further lied repeatedly to the Mayor when questioned about the incident. Not exactly a standup guy.

  10. Mar

    Le Roi, everyone involved in this case is liberal. And yes,I did read the article and it shows why Chicago is a crap hole. The mayor decided before all the facts were released. She let it slip that Johnson was out with a woman, not his wife, even though there may have been a logical reason to do so.
    He apparently abused his power at the scene and possibly lied.
    A bunch of corrupt liberal losers running Chicago, though the mayor hasn’t been accused of any corruption…yet.
    And this liberal corruption leads to the death of innocents

  11. Merlin

    Not just any woman, but the head of Johnson’s security detail. Known by the boys in blue to be Special Ed’s extra special friend and the source of the 911 call. A since reassigned head of detail present in the vehicle when Johnson dismissed his CPD driver and proceeded to drive a CPD vehicle while so under the influence he lost consciousness. Details can be such sticky things.

  12. Kevin Scheunemann

    Nord is ready to defend and minimize the “craphole” because it is a liberal “craphole.”

    He would not speak against a liberal politician unless really pressed on issues so horrendous, even he cannot defend it.

  13. Le Roi du Nord


    So where do fall in this issue?  Fire, or not to fire?  And why do you feel that way?  Your initial comment, “Pathetic liberal leadership”, gives no indication other than an unrelated opinion.  Merlin has some insight as to what happened, or do you have other information that isn’t public?  Or do you disagree with the ability of a duly elected executive being able to fire an appointed official for cause?  You haven’t been very specific at all, just your knee jerk ‘liberals are bad, blah, blah’  claptrap.


    This issue isn’t about “why Chicago is a crap hole” .  It is about if the Mayor had cause to fire Johnson.  Do you feel his actions were acceptable behavior?  Should he have been disciplined?  Fired?

    To both of you; I’m not defending anyone, but rather interested in the truth, facts, and fair play.  If you have other facts that make more sense of this, please provide same.

  14. Mar

    “I’m not defending anyone, but rather interested in the truth, facts, and fair play”
    Then you would not have fired him and you would condemn the mayor for leaking info in the IG report that has not been released to the public. And Johnson was not interviewed
    The mayor fire the Chief for whatsoever reason but her conduct was pretty bad.

  15. Le Roi du Nord

    Dear Educated mar:

    I don’t know if I would have fired him or not, as I am not in possession of all the facts (yup facts are important) that you seem to have.  And I won’t pass judgement on this until I do.  Perhaps you should have the debate with others on this thread than feel that the firing is warranted.

    And how do you feel about the ability of a duly elected executive being able to fire an appointed official for cause?

    And further explain what, “The mayor fire the Chief for whatsoever reason but her conduct was pretty bad” is supposed to mean..  Thanks.
    Leave a Reply

  16. Kevin Scheunemann


    Can’t answer your question until you and jjf apologize for your false witness.

    Need to know you will not misquote me, like you do constantly.

  17. jjf

    Sigh.  I’m not even in this thread, and somehow I’ve hurt Kevin.  Ten thousand lies from the Orange King, and that’s nothing to him.  Thou shalt not bear false witness, it’s Kevin’s fave commandment, and the one that hurts him the most.  It’s OK to keep DQ open on Sunday, though.  Apologize to me for your routine violation of the Sabbath!

  18. Le Roi du Nord


    Well, if you remain silent because of an unfounded case of “false witness”, we all win.  We will here no more bashing of liberals, calling folks names, identity politics, and grossly misstated claims of how bad/evil/depraved/etc everyone that disagrees with you is, and how absolutely right you are.  Now let’s see if you can actually remain silent……..

  19. jjf


  20. Jason

    >We will here no more bashing of liberals…

    Hey Leroy… “You can’t spell, nor write a sentence. It doesn’t require a scientific proof to see that.”


    Way to go dummy, just two days after attacking someone for a spelling mistake.  Must be lonely there in the old folks home when your kids don’t even want to visit you.


  21. Mar

    LevRoi, I think a chief executive/mayor can fire a police chief with cause. However, there was an ongoing investigation that was not complete. Instead of waiting for the report to be finished, she chose to go and fire the Chief. She is also not releasing any report, at least for now.
    As far as the mayor being a piece if dung, she released info that the chief was seeing a woman, not his wife at the bar he was at.
    In fact, he was with his driver for many years. It could have been a totally innocent meeting with his driver, but the mayor implied he may have been having and affair. She is a disgrace and a POS for bringing up this subject without releasing all the facts.

  22. jjf

    Jason, tell us how you feel about name-calling and bullying.  Good or bad?

  23. Kevin Scheunemann

    Nord, jjf,

    I’ll still comment about thread,but will not answer any of your questions because you both pasted me with a phrase you claimed I said and when I denied it and asked for proof, you both failed to produce it.

    Nord doubled down and claimed he does not apologize for “my mistakes”.

    I simply cannot have rational discord with people who are so openly dishonest.

    When you both clean up your act.  I will engage with you again.

    Otherwise, I will just ignore open dishonesty. It’s a shame honesty cannot be the first duty of civility.

  24. Merlin

    Lightfoot was under no obligation whatsoever to wait for an IG’s report before disciplining Johnson. If the Mayor’s own investigation found probably cause she needed nothing else. The time elapsed since the incident would indicate she at least looked at the IG’s findings and found little or no exculpatory information favorable to Johnson.

    It would be an awesome idea to educate yourselves on the functions and limitations of an inspector general before next Monday. Take care with your source material, too. Most media sites I’ve seen are clueless on the subject.

  25. jjf

    Kevin, stop, I wouldn’t call your discord “rational.”  Do you really mean it?  You’re going to stop engaging with Le Roi and me until we apologize for our “false witness”?  And you’re not going to address the way you hold low-fat ice-cream-like products higher than respecting the Sabbath?

  26. Le Roi du Nord


    You are absolutely right, I misspelled hear.  I should have turned off the auto-correct,  but didn’t.  My bad, and I apologize for my egregious error.

  27. Le Roi du Nord

    “rational discord”

    That is wrong so many ways.


    “Pathetic liberal leadership”, “liberal “craphole.” “,  and “the earth is 6000 years old” are all direct and verbatim quotes.

    And I’ll triple down and tell you once again, I don’t apologize for your mistakes.  You can even quote me.

  28. Jason

    >Jason, tell us how you feel about name-calling and bullying.  Good or bad?

    Generally I don’t like it, but since LeRoy pathologically points out simple spelling and grammatical errors and bullies people all the time for it, it’s good for the gander in this case.

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