7 Chicago officers suspended in scandal involving disgraced former top cop Eddie Johnson

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Seven Chicago police officers have been disciplined for their actions the night the city’s top cop was found passed out behind the wheel of his department-issued SUV.

The cops were punished with suspensions, according to the Chicago inspector general who found that then-superintendent Eddie Johnson downed the equivalent of 10 rum drinks that night.

The officers punished for their response to the incident include a district commander, Don Jerome, and a lieutenant, public radio station WBEZ reported Friday.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson in 2019. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Jerome was suspended for 28 days for failing to report misconduct, and the lieutenant was suspended for 21 days, according to the station.

The police department suspended the lieutenant after rejecting a recommendation from IG Joseph Ferguson that the officer be fired for lying about the incident, the station reported.

“Multiple sworn CPD personnel failed to effectively carry out their duties in compliance with policy in the handling and aftermath” of the incident, the report says.


While stopping short of finding the officers engaged in a cover-up, Ferguson concluded that the officers’ “actions created the impression of giving the superintendent preferential treatment.”

The report's release came a year to the day of the incident which ultimately led to Johnson’s firing by Mayor Lori Lightfoot for lying about it.

It also comes a day after Johnson’s former driver Cynthia Donald, who was drinking with him that night, filed a sexual assault and harassment lawsuit against Johnson. Johnson has denied her allegations.

The IG report, which doesn’t name Donald, said a seven-day suspension was handed down to a cop who “consumed several large servings of rum while at a restaurant with the CPD superintendent” and “later drove home” in a city vehicle, WBEZ reported.


Donald’s attorney, Robert McLaughlin, emailed the Chicago Tribune to dispute the inspector general’s findings that she was intoxicated that night when she drove home, The Associated Press reported.

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