CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired the city’s retiring police superintendent Monday, citing “ethical lapses” that included telling lies about a recent incident in which Eddie Johnson was found asleep at the wheel of his car after having drinks.
Named to the job in the wake of a police shooting that killed a black teenager, Johnson was dismissed after the mayor reviewed an inspector general’s report and video evidence related to the night in mid-October when officers discovered him unconscious in his SUV. He initially blamed failure to take his blood pressure medication and said he had a few drinks with dinner earlier in the evening.
The officers did not conduct any sobriety tests and let their boss drive home.
Johnson “engaged in a series of actions that are intolerable for any leader or position of trust, particularly the head of the Chicago Police Department,” the mayor said. Johnson’s conduct was “not only unbecoming but demonstrates a series of ethical lapses and flawed decision-making.”
Lightfoot said the police chief of the nation’s third-largest city repeatedly lied about the events that unfolded the night of Oct. 16 and morning of Oct. 17.
“What he portrayed to me, what he portrayed to the public was fundamentally different than what the facts show,” she said. The underlying conduct “warranted this significant and serious action of relieving him of his role.”
Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who was already named interim superintendent in Chicago, was to take over the department of 13,500 officers immediately, Lightfoot said.
Ga. governor to appoint donor to fill Senate seatATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has decided to appoint a Republican donor and financial services executive to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by three-term Sen. Johnny Isakson, a GOP political consultant told The Associated Press on Monday.
His choice of Kelly Loeffler, a political newcomer, defies Republicans who had pushed him to choose Rep. Doug Collins, one of the staunchest defenders of President Donald Trump.
The consultant spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because Kemp has yet to publicly announce the decision.
Loeffler, co-owner of the Atlanta Dream professional woman’s basketball franchise, is the CEO of financial services firm Bakkt, which offers a regulated market for Bitcoin.
GOP congressman to
plead guilty to corruption
SAN DIEGO — California Rep. Duncan Hunter said he plans to plead guilty to misusing campaign funds and is prepared to go to jail, a stunning turn of events for the six-term Republican who had denied wrongdoing and claimed he was the victim of a political witch hunt by federal prosecutors.
Hunter had pleaded not guilty, but in an interview that aired Monday said he will change his plea at a federal court hearing today in San Diego.
His wife, Margaret Hunter, also was charged in the case and in June accepted a plea deal that called for her to testify against her husband.
Federal prosecutors alleged he and his wife spent more than $250,000 in campaign money for golf outings, plane tickets and a family vacation to Italy, as well as household items from places like Costco.
Hunter said he will accept whatever sentence the judge gives, including jail time.
Brazil president under fire over U.S. tariffs
SAO PAULO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s U.S.-focused foreign policy efforts suffered a severe setback on Monday when his American counterpart Donald Trump pledged to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum on the South American nation.
Trump initially leveled the threat by Twitter while accusing Brazil and neighboring Argentina, governed by U.S. allies Bolsonaro and Mauricio Macri, of manipulating their currencies and hurting American farmers.
Brazil’s vice president denied the accusation, but Bolsonaro, who openly admires Trump, was reticent; the far-right politician said he could call Trump “if needed.”
Argentina’s production and labor minister, Dante Sica, said Trump’s announcement caught policymakers by surprise.
Brazil’s economy, foreign affairs and agriculture ministries said in a joint statement they will “defend Brazil’s trade interests and assure the flow of trade with the U.S.”