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Detroit police chief suspended following affair allegations

October 03, 2012|By Michael Muskal
  • Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee speaks during a news conference at the Northeastern District Police Station in Detroit.
Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee speaks during a news conference at the… (Brandy Baker, Detroit News…)

Detroit’s police chief is again embroiled in a sex scandal, the latest such affair to hit the beleaguered city’s cops.

On Tuesday, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing formally suspended Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. amid reports that he had an affair with a female police officer. It was the second such allegation against Godbee since taking the post in 2010.

Godbee was brought in to replace former Police Chief Warren Evans, who was forced to resign after he was featured in a promo for a reality television program and had a relationship with the department’s Lt. Monique Patterson. Evans' relationship with Patterson compromised his ability to lead the department, Bing had said.

Soon after Godbee took the post in September 2010, Patterson released text messages showing she also had a romantic relationship with Godbee, according to the Detroit Free Press. At the time, City Hall stood by Godbee, calling him “the person to lead DPD in our efforts to improve public safety.”

 The latest reports -- involving Angelica Robinson, an internal affairs officer – prompted a different City Hall response on Tuesday.

 “After learning of the allegations regarding Chief Ralph Godbee, I have placed him on a 30-day suspension pending a full and thorough investigation of this matter,” Bing said in a statement released to media on Tuesday. “In the interim, Assistant Chief Chester Logan will assume the duties and responsibilities of police chief.”

Godbee has been unavailable for comment, according to the department.

Godbee, 44, and Robinson, 37, had been having an affair that she said had run its course, according to her attorney, David Robinson.

 “There was a sexual relationship between my client and Godbee,” David Robinson told the Associated Press on Tuesday evening. “She was trying to end the relationship, and Godbee didn't want to let it go.”

Other news media reports have indicated that Robinson became upset after discovering Godbee may have been at the police conference in San Diego with another woman. Robinson posted a photo of herself with her service weapon in her mouth on Twitter after learning Godbee was at a weekend police conference with another woman, the lawyer said.

Godbee had other officers locate Robinson and put her under surveillance. “Obviously, it raised the implication of suicide,” Robinson told the news service. “The story is that she was hurt he was at a conference with another woman. Certainly this has created a lot of pressure. Unfairly, her future is a little bit uncertain. She has to suffer the humiliation.”

Robinson has been reassigned from internal affairs and does not have use of her service weapon.

Godbee is the third police chief since Bing was elected mayor in 2009.


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