Ex-Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is being accused of committing “shockingly violent” acts of sexual assault against an officer, who was also his former driver, on the night ultimately leading to his firing last year.
According to the Chicago Tribune, in a lawsuit filed late Wednesday (October 14), Officer Cynthia Donald claims Johnson raped and abused her repeatedly for over three years, and later destroyed evidence of the alleged abuse on his phone when the city Inspector General investigated his conduct.
Johnson was long seen as a figure who would reform the department often draped in controversy when he was hired four years ago. Instead he was fired after being found asleep at the wheel on a city street, allegedly after a night of drinking, and then lying about it to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
“My hope in coming forward publicly … is that other women who are also survivors of abuse and harassment by Superintendent Johnson and other male Chicago Police Department officers will have courage,” Donald said at a news conference Thursday, according to the Tribune.
She continued: “The Chicago Police Department and city of Chicago need to be held accountable for what happened to me, and what is likely happening every day to other female Chicago police officers just like me.”
Tom Needham, Johnson’s attorney, said on Thursday that the former police chief “adamantly” denies the sexual misconduct allegations.
The lawsuit comes after revelations that some officers are facing suspension for their roles in the incident. The inspector general is expected to release a quarterly report on Friday with a summary of his investigation of the full incident.