Ex-Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson denies sexual assault lawsuit accusations

ByAlexis McAdams WLS logo
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Former CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson denies sexual assault lawsuit accusations
Former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson denies much of the accusations, including sexual assault, made in a lawsuit against him.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In a court filing, former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson formally denied many of the accusations made against him in a lawsuit filed by a fellow officer. Some of the accusations included allegations of sexual assault.

"Now you know you belong to me."

With those seven words, 14-year Chicago Police Officer Cynthia Donald said her boss, then-CPD Superintendent Johnson, finished a forced sex act on her and commenced more than three years of physical and mental tumult.

Donald said the assault happened in Johnson's office at CPD Headquarters in the summer of 2016. Back in October, Donald, who was Johnson's driver, filed a 33-page lawsuit.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit.

Months later, Johnson is responding. His legal team filed a response Friday and claimed the relationship between Johnson and Donald was "wholly consensual and mutually sustained." Johnson denies ever saying, "Now you know you belong to me," to Donald. His filing details, what his legal team describes as an intimate relationship and friendship between Johnson and Donald.

Donald claimed she was sexually assaulted by the city's former top cop on a regular basis and forced to work in a hostile environment.

"He made it clear to Officer Donald that she had to follow his orders, which included engaging in unwanted sexual activity with him, in order to keep her job," her attorney said in October.

Donald said the sexual abuse lasted for three years while Johnson was her boss.

Also in October, Donald and her legal team said that Johnson destroyed records of their relationship, including the data card in the city cell phone.

In his filing, Johnson denied that claim and said the "allegations constitute an utter fabrication."

RELATED: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson fired for 'intolerable' actions, Mayor Lightfoot says

Johnson also maintains that he never lied to Mayor Lori Lightfoot about the events leading up to his firing. In 2019, the former superintendent was found slumped over the wheel of a car on the South Side. Johnson was said to have told the mayor that he had a reaction to medication. It later came out that Johnson and Donald had been in a Loop restaurant drinking.

Donald's lawsuit also said that incident drew Lightfoot into the fray and resulted in Donald's demotion.

"After that night, I understand that Lori Lightfoot was updated as to what happened. And instead of speaking with Cynthia herself or ordering a thorough investigation, she told Eddie to quote 'dump Cynthia' and remove her from his security detail and put her in the records department at a desk job," Donald's attorney previously said.

Johnson's filing claims even after the public fallout from the 2019 incident, Johnson and Donald remained friends, and that Donald "continued to seek out" Johnson even after he was removed as superintendent. Johnson's response claims things lasted until Johnson found out Donald was planning to use their relationship as a tipping point to help her win a lawsuit she planned to file against the City of Chicago regarding her employment. Johnson claimed Donald's allegations are an attempt to "bring her financial gain."

We've reached out to Donald's attorney for a response, but have yet to hear back.