Detroit Police Chief Resigns Over Affair With Officer

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A sex scandal in Detroit has forced out its chief of police, the second person in two years to resign from the position after being accused of inappropriate relations with a female officer.

At a news conference on Monday, Mayor Dave Bing announced that Chief Ralph L. Godbee Jr. had decided to step down after news emerged last week that he was having an extramarital affair with an internal affairs officer in the department.

"He was very contrite yesterday," said Mr. Bing, who spoke with Mr. Godbee on Sunday. "He felt he had let me down. He felt he had let the department down. He felt he had let the people of Detroit down."

Mr. Bing added, "It bothers me a great deal that it has come to this."

Reports that Mr. Godbee, 44, would resign had been circulating for nearly a week after the internal affairs officer, Angelica Robinson, posted a picture of herself on a social media Web site holding a department-issued handgun to her mouth, apparently after she discovered that Mr. Godbee was in San Diego with another woman.

"Apparently, she was contemplating making the ultimate sacrifice out of humiliation, frustration and pain over what it was the chief was putting her through," said her lawyer, David A. Robinson, who is not related to her. He added that the department had taken away her gun and ordered her to undergo a mental evaluation.

In 2010, Mr. Godbee succeeded Chief Warren C. Evans, who was also accused of having an affair with a subordinate. At the time, Mr. Bing did not specifically cite the relationship as the reason for Mr. Evans's resignation, but said "certain decisions" had compromised his ability to lead the department.

Soon afterward, it became known that Mr. Godbee had also had an affair with the same female officer as Mr. Evans had. Mr. Bing said on Monday that he had known about that relationship but still appointed Mr. Godbee because he believed that he was the right person for the position.

"He confided in me that he had changed his ways," Mr. Bing told reporters on Monday. "I had no reason not to believe that."

News of Mr. Godbee's resignation comes about a month into the corruption trial of Kwame M. Kilpatrick, the gregarious former mayor of Detroit who resigned in 2008 after lying under oath about a relationship with his chief of staff.

Detroit currently has no policy against fraternization among city workers, Mr. Bing said, though he added that he now intended to institute one.

Mr. Godbee wrote in a letter released by the department, "I retire proud of the fact that I was able to assist during a time when our city has most been in need."

Chester L. Logan, a 38-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department who has been in charge of day-to-day operations for two years, will take the reins while the search for a new chief takes place, the mayor said.

Detroit continues to be plagued by high crime rates and financial turmoil that has challenged its police force. As of Oct. 6, according to the Police Department, there have been 298 killings this year, an increase of 34 percent over the same period in 2010.

"We're going to get through this," Mr. Logan said at his first public appearance as interim chief. "Collectively, we're going to get through this."

nation

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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