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Eddie Johnson

Then-police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announces his retirement on Nov. 7, 2019. Almost a month later, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced she fired Johnson, accusing him of lying to her about the circumstances surrounding the night when cops found Johnson passed out in a police vehicle.

Teresa Crawford

Newsletter: Cops Under Investigation For Johnson Cover-up

Hey there, it’s Wednesday! I wonder if this will be on a future season of Netflix’s The Crown. Here’s what you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. A Johnson cover-up at the Chicago Police Department?

Multiple employees at the Police Department are under investigation for allegedly trying to protect then-Superintendent Eddie Johnson after he was found slumped over in a police vehicle during a weeknight in October, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Johnson had been drinking with a female subordinate at Ceres Cafe in downtown Chicago, and the Sun-Times reports a video shows Johnson repeatedly kissing the woman. Johnson was later found by officers in a police car near his Bridgeport home. Police bodycam and dashcam videos show officers allowed Johnson to drive home after the superintendent flashed his badge, the Sun-Times reports.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, and it’s not clear when he will release his findings. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. Trump committed impeachable offenses, scholars say

Four constitutional scholars appeared today in a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, which has taken over the impeachment inquiry. Three of the scholars said President Donald Trump committed several impeachable offenses in his dealing with Ukraine.

“If left unchecked, the president will likely continue his pattern of soliciting foreign interference on his behalf in the next election,” said one of the professors, Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina.

Another scholar, who was called to testify by Republicans, said the case against the president is “slipshod.” [NPR]

Meanwhile, the GOP has embraced a debunked conspiracy theory in its effort to defend Trump. [Washington Post]

3. World leaders appear to mock Trump in video

And the video prompted President Donald Trump to call Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced.”

The video, posted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, was taken during a NATO reception at Buckingham Palace. Trudeau appears to be talking about Trump, though he is not named, to a group that included French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and British royal Princess Anne.

“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top,” Trudeau can be heard saying in the video, later saying, “You just watch his team’s jaws drop to the floor.” [NPR]

4. Nearly 700K people could lose their food stamps

The Trump administration today gave final approval to a rule aimed at enforcing federal work requirements for food stamp recipients. Under the rule, some able-bodied adults would have to work or participate in a job-training program for at least 80 hours a month or they will lose their food stamp benefits.

The rule also makes it harder for states to get waivers. While the new requirements go into effect in April, Illinois officials announced last month that Cook County residents would have to meet the work rules starting Jan. 1. [Chicago Tribune]

5. Chicago-area public transportation is not great for the elderly and folks with disabilities

That’s according to researchers from the nonprofit Metropolitan Planning Council.

“We heard stories about people being stranded on train platforms because they didn’t have real-time information about elevators or escalators being out of service,” said the council’s transportation director.

She says the Chicago area has a lot of public transportation options, but there is not a lot of coordination between the different government agencies that run them. You can find the council’s report and its recommendations in the link. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • George Zimmerman is suing Trayvon Martin’s family, their lawyers and prosecutors for $100 million. [Chicago Tribune]
  • A judge dismissed a lawsuit from a nephew of John Dillinger who wants to exhume the gangster’s body. [AP]
  • Perfect Strangers (yes, that one) is getting a remake. [Variety]
  • Uh, what? [Block Club Chicago]

Oh, and one more thing …

We’re less than a month away until recreational marijuana becomes legal on Jan. 1. That has some folks wondering if Chicago will constantly smell like pot.

WBEZ talked to experts in Illinois and Denver to get a better idea of what to expect and what people can do if they have a neighbor who’s partying a little too hard.

Some takeaways: Secondhand smoke won’t consume the city, residents can call in complaints to 311 and Denver has a full-time investigator who looks into odor complaints (like some sort of Sherlock Bongs). [WBEZ]

Tell me something good ...

I’m putting together a bingo card of local things to do as the winter holidays approach, and I’d love to hear from y’all.

Roger writes:

“Visiting the model railroad set-up at the Clarendon Park Field House, near Montrose and Clarendon on Chicago’s north side.”

And Diane Lawrence writes:

“Garfield Park Conservatory. The best public space to take a break from winter. Easily accessible, Green-line Stop and free parking!”

What are your favorite things to do during the holidays? Feel free to email at or tweet to @whuntah.

Have a nice night! I’ll see you tomorrow. And if you like what you just read, you can subscribe to the newsletter here and have it delivered to your inbox.

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