Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday, responding to media reports that Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson is leaving his post this week, insisted he’s still got the job.
“We only have one superintendent at a time, and he’s still here,” she told reporters after a ceremonial groundbreaking for a wellness center in Morgan Park.
“We haven’t had that conversation. When we do have that conversation, we’ll have something to say.”
She added that some rumored replacements for Johnson are “wildly off base.”
Earlier this week, after his City Council budget hearing, Johnson himself brought up the subject of his own departure, insisting that neither an ongoing inspector general investigation nor his pension (he’s not fully vested in his superintendent pension until next year) are reasons he has been pondering retirement.
“I know that he started the conversation the other day about possibly retiring,” Lightfoot said, Wednesday, but they haven’t discussed it, and “we talk on a regular basis.”
When they do talk, Lightfoot said, “the conversation is always around, ‘Where do you see yourself? Do you, in fact, have enough gas in the tank?’”
Johnson was picked for the job by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who passed over candidates recommended by the Chicago Police Board — of which Lightfoot was president at the time.
Lightfoot, without mentioning Emanuel, said Wednesday that when the time comes to pick a new top cop, the Police Board will play its proper role.
“We’re not at that point yet,” she said, but “the Police Board process is mandated by law. I believe in respecting the law and the Police Board process.”
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