Chicago officer sues former chief for sexual harassment

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FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks at a news conference in Chicago. An inspector general's report concluded Thursday, July, 16, 2020, that Johnson drove a city vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and lied about the incident that led to his December firing. Johnson wasfound asleep behind the wheel of his police carin October after consuming "several large servings of rum" at a downtown restaurant with a member of his security detail, according to the Chicago Office of the Inspector General.(AP Photo/Teresa Crawford File)

CHICAGO – A Chicago police officer has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual assault by former police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who was out drinking with her the night he was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV.

In her lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, Cynthia Donald also says Johnson destroyed cellphone evidence of their relationship amid an investigation into Johnson's movements that night.

Donald's lawsuit alleges Johnson sexually harassed her, pressured her to engage in sexual acts and even texted nude photos of himself to her between 2016 and 2019 after he assigned her to his detail and then as his driver. In one incident, she alleges that Johnson forced her onto a couch, pulled her pants down without her consent and engaged in a sex act, telling her, “Now you know you belong to me.”

“Superintendent Johnson used his position of power and authority over Plaintiff to pressure her into engaging in these sexual acts by conditioning her employment and advancements within (the Chicago Police Department) upon her submission to unwanted and unwelcomed sexual activity, promising her promotions, and berating her whenever she summoned the courage to resist his advances, “ the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also names the city as a defendant, alleging that Mayor Lori Lightfoot “exacerbated the hostile work environment by ordering Superintendent Johnson to ‘dump’ Plaintiff by having her relocated away from CPD Headquarters. "

Lightfoot's office referred questions about the lawsuit to the city's law department. In a statement, the law department said, “We cannot comment on the specific allegations, which, if true, would be inexcusable,” adding that Johnson never told Lightfoot about any allegations of abuse or harassment of Donald by Johnson.

A call to Johnson's attorney requesting comment was not immediately returned.

The lawsuit comes as the department was expected Thursday to announce possible discipline of officers involved in the October 2019 incident in which Johnson, after a night of drinking, was found slumped over the wheel of his vehicle and allowed by officers to drive home.