Attorneys for actor Jussie Smollett have asked the city of Chicago turn over documents that show former police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was “untruthful or misleading in any statement" before he was fired last month, in an apparent bid to undermine Johnson's credibility.
The attorneys submitted the request to Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, whose investigation found that Johnson had lied to Mayor Lori Lightfoot about what he had been up to on the October night he was found asleep in his running vehicle at a traffic light near his South Side home. The text of the subpoena was contained in a filing by the city on Wednesday opposing it, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The subpoena is part of a legal battle over $130,000 that the city says Smollett owes for costs incurred by the police investigation of his claims that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago a year ago Wednesday. The city has sued for the money and Smollett's attorneys have filed a countersuit.
Johnson portrayed the former “Empire” actor as a liar who staged the attack in an effort to further his career. Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly making false statements to police, but the Cook County State's Attorney's office abruptly dropped the case weeks later, angering police and City Hall officials and leading to the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate that decision. That investigation is ongoing.
After Johnson was found asleep in his vehicle in October, he said that a change in his blood pressure medication was to blame. But Lightfoot fired him in December — weeks before he was scheduled to retire — after she said the inspector general's investigation found that Johnson had lied to her about what happened.
Johnson had said he'd had dinner with some friends, but the investigation revealed that he had been drinking for hours that night with a female subordinate who was on his security detail. Media reports in the coming days disclosed that surveillance video showed that the married Johnson had been kissing the woman.