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Ralph Godbee out: 2nd Detroit police chief sex scandal in a row

October 08, 2012|By Michael Muskal | This story has been corrected. Please see note below for details.
  • Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr.
Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. (Carlos Osorio / Associated…)

Ralph Godbee Jr. stepped down as Detroit's police chief Monday after a sex scandal involving his relationship with an employee in the department's internal-affairs unit.

At a news conference, Mayor Dave Bing announced that Godbee, who had been under suspension in connection with the scandal, had decided to retire immediately. Godbee has been in the job since 2010, replacing former chief Warren Evans, who was forced out in part because of a sex scandal.

Bing said Godbee told him of his decision during a meeting Sunday. The move "was the right decision by the chief," the mayor said.

He said Godbee acknowledged having a relationship with the woman in the internal-affairs unit and was embarrassed by the latest incident.

"He felt he had let me down. He felt he had let the department down," Bing told reporters.

In a letter announcing his retirement, Godbee said: "I am thankful and forever indebted to the residents of this great city for allowing me to serve this community for over 25 years."

The letter, released to reporters after Bing's news conference, made no mention of the scandal, but continued: "As many of you know, retirement is only another way to say transition," and “my mission is to continue to work hard to make the city the best it can be."

The chief, who is separated and has filed for divorce, has not publicly commented since the scandal surfaced in recent weeks.

Bing suspended Godbee last week after the lawyer for the female employee, Angelica Robinson, said the two had a relationship for about a year but that she recently wanted to end it.

Robinson had 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, her attorney David Robinson told reporters.

Godbee was appointed to the $140,400-a-year job by Bing in 2010, following Evans.

Bing hired Evans in 2009, but fired him after he took part in a promotional video for a reality show and because Evans had a relationship with Detroit police Lt. Monique Patterson. Godbee also had a relationship with Patterson when she previously worked for him.

[For the Record, 10:17 a.m., Oct. 8: The headline on an earlier version of this post misspelled the name of former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. as Goodbee.]

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