DETROIT (AP) — Detroit police Chief Ralph Godbee has stepped down after an internal affairs officer revealed that she and the chief had been conducting a sexual relationship, the mayor announced Monday.
Mayor Dave Bing said 44-year-old Chief Godbee submitted a letter of retirement, effective immediately, from the job he’s held since 2010.
Mr. Bing said Chief Godbee told him about his decision to retire during a meeting Sunday. The mayor said he did not force Chief Godbee to leave but believes “this was the right decision by the chief.” Mr. Bing said Chief Godbee was “contrite” and “embarrassed.”
“Yes, he did apologize … he felt he let the citizens of Detroit down,” Mr. Bing said at a news conference.
Chief Godbee has not publicly commented on the revelations of his affair with Angelica Robinson. There was no mention of the scandal in an eight-paragraph letter dated Monday from Chief Godbee to Mr. Bing that announced the chief’s retirement. A copy of the letter was released to reporters after the news conference.
Mr. Bing placed Chief Godbee on a 30-day suspension last week pending an investigation into the claims by Ms. Robinson’s attorney that the 37-year-old woman had wanted the relationship to end but that Chief Godbee did not.
At the news conference, Mr. Bing said Assistant Chief Chester Logan will serve as interim chief. Chief Logan assumed Chief Godbee’s responsibilities during the suspension. Mr. Bing said a national search for a new chief is planned.
Ms. Robinson’s lawyer revealed that she and Chief Godbee had been seeing each other for about a year, but Chief Godbee was upset when she wanted to end the relationship.
Ms. Robinson posted a photo of herself with her service weapon in her mouth on the social media site Twitter after learning Chief Godbee was at a weekend police conference with another woman, attorney David Robinson has said.
He said Chief Godbee had other officers locate Ms. Robinson and put her under surveillance.
Chief Godbee was appointed to the $140,400-a-year job by Mr. Bing in 2010. Chief Godbee succeeded former Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans as police chief in 2010.
Mr. Bing had hired Sheriff Evans a year earlier but fired him after he took part in a promotional video for a cable police reality show. Mr. Bing later said he also fired Chief Evans because the chief was romantically involved with Lt. Monique Patterson.
Chief Godbee also had a romantic relationship with Lt. Patterson before she began dating Chief Evans and when she was Chief Godbee’s subordinate.
Chief Godbee joined the department in 1987 and rose to assistant chief in 2007. He later retired only to be reappointed assistant chief in July 2009 when Chief Evans was hired.
Associated Press writer Corey Williams contributed to this report.
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