CHICAGO (CBS) — Sources on Tuesday said three finalists have been named to head up the Chicago Police Department.
The source told CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot that Aurora police Chief Kirsten Ziman is being considered for a Director of Public Safety Position. In this role, she would oversee Office of Emergency Management and Communications, the Chicago Police Department, and the Chicago Fire Department.
Current Deputy Chicago Police Chief Ernest Cato is being considered for the superintendent position, a source said. Cato would report to Ziman.
A source told Le Mignot on Tuesday said the third name in the running for superintendent is David Brown. He was a former police chief in Dallas.
The Chicago Police Board will hold a special meeting Wednesday at 4 p.m. via teleconference to announce the nominations. A total of 25 people applied for the position.
The board has declined to identify any of the applicants, or confirm or deny any short list exists.
Once the nominees are announced, Mayor Lori Lightfoot can either choose one to appoint as superintendent, or ask the board to come up with another list of nominees. Her pick would have to be confirmed by the City Council.
Interim Police Supt. Charlie Beck, a former LAPD police chief who has been serving as the city’s top cop since Johnson was fired in December, has said he’s willing to stay as long as he’s needed but says he family hopes he can return to California as soon as possible.
“I hope that in the last four months you have come to know that I care about this city, and I would never leave it in a time of crisis like this,” Beck said last week, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lightfoot fired Johnson in December, accusing him of lying to her about the circumstances of being found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV last October. The city’s inspector general has launched an investigation into the incident.
Johnson was found asleep behind the wheel of his SUV early on Oct. 17, after he said he had gone out for dinner with a group of friends the night before. He later blamed the incident on a mix-up with his medication, but did not mention that he had been drinking before he fell asleep behind the wheel of his car. The mayor later revealed that Johnson had been drinking that night.
While the mayor declined to say exactly what Johnson lied to her and the public about, she said video evidence from the incident contradicted Johnson’s statements to her. Johnson was already getting ready to retire when Lightfoot fired him, and the police board had launched a search effort for a new top cop in November.
Lightfoot has declined to go into specifics about what Johnson lied about, “out of deference to his wife and children,” but sources told CBS 2 Johnson had been out drinking with a woman who was not his wife hours before he was found asleep at the wheel.