Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had “a couple of drinks with dinner” before he was found asleep in his car, the mayor says.
Johnson was driving home early Thursday when he felt lightheaded and parked his car near his home, police said in a statement.
Officers found him after a passerby called 911 to report that a person was asleep at a stop sign.
“Responding officers arrived at the scene and checked on the Superintendent’s well-being. Officers did not observe any signs of impairment, and the Superintendent drove himself home,” the police department said. Johnson was not administered a sobriety test.
In an interview with The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she spoke with Johnson.
“He revealed to me that he had a couple of drinks with dinner,” Lightfoot said, noting that she did not specifically ask Johnson if he had been drinking.
When CNN reached out to the mayor’s office, her staff referred to the newspaper’s interview.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Johnson said he felt like his blood pressure was rising when he decided to park his car.
Johnson said he had been prescribed a medication after he suffered a blood clot in the summer. He thinks he felt ill on Thursday because his doctor had changed his medication earlier in the week, but he accidentally missed taking it.
He saw a doctor on Thursday due to issues related to his blood pressure, police said.
He was not asked to take a sobriety test
An internal investigation into the incident is underway at Johnson’s request.
“The Superintendent opened this investigation because, as he put it, ‘whether you are Police Officer or a Superintendent, all Officers ought to be held to the highest standard’,” police said in a statement.
When asked by The Sun-Times why a field sobriety test was not given to the superintendent, Lightfoot declined to comment and said she didn’t want to “pre-judge” the internal investigation.
“I know what the superintendent told me, which is that he was having some medical issues this week, he was changing medication, he didn’t feel well, he pulled off to the side. And then IAD will sort out the rest of it.”
Johnson told reporters on Thursday that officers didn’t feel the need to administer the sobriety test.
“If somebody is sleeping in a car, it doesn’t mean they are impaired in any way,” Johnson said.
A Chicago police spokesperson said there was no evidence of wrongdoing.
“While we have no indication of impropriety at this time, this question can only be answered by the internal affairs investigation. That investigation [is] active and ongoing,” the spokesperson said.