Detroit police chief suspended amid sex scandal

DETROIT – Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee was suspended on Tuesday amid a burgeoning sex scandal involving two women, one of whom is a subordinate officer. This is the second time during Godbee’s tenure that he has been accused of an affair with a subordinate.

“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,” Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said in a statement on Tuesday. “In the interim, Assistant Chief Chester Logan will assume the duties and responsibilities of police chief.”

According to WXYZ-TV, Godbee is accused of having an affair with Angelica Robinson, a Detroit Police Internal Affairs officer, along with another woman who does not work for the department. Robinson – who is also married with children – went public with the relationship last Saturday night on Twitter after she suspected that Godbee was at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in San Diego with the third woman.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Godbee and an unnamed woman were booked at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, according to the hotel. On Monday, a Twitter account belonging to the woman showed pictures of her standing on what appears to be a balcony at the hotel.

Robinson’s attorney says that the two had been seeing each other for over a year and at one point she tried to break off the relationship.

“She was trying to cut it off and he didn’t like that,” David Robinson, her attorney, said. “And apparently she was very depressed and the concern was whether or not she was going to take her own life. Godbee got wind of that and, I guess, tried to intervene.”

After Robinson took to Twitter, Godbee allegedly tried getting Robinson to stop tweeting about their relationship. She responded by sending out a picture where she had her department-issued Glock in her mouth.

“I tweeted him and said ‘Oh, so you’re trying to kill me because you don’t want me talking?’” Robinson told WJBK during an interview on Tuesday. The interview also exposed voicemail and text messages sent from Godbee to Robinson.

On Saturday night, Godbee — who is also a minister — told Detroit Police to locate Robinson and stop her from potentially hurting herself, finally arriving at a home in the suburb of Farmington. Robinson also said that the department took away her gun and had a doctor evaluate her.

Godbee could be facing a potential investigation in Farmington, as local officials were not notified that Detroit officers were in their jurisdiction. DPD has no rules prohibiting command officers from dating or marrying subordinates, opening the door to potential conflicts of interest, including Godbee allegedly helping Robinson get her position in internal affairs.

This is not the first time Godbee has been embroiled in a sex scandal with a subordinate. Warren Evans, Godbee’s predecessor, was forced to resign in 2010 in part to a relationship he had with Police Lt. Monique Patterson. It was later revealed that Godbee had also been in a relationship with Patterson but was appointed chief anyway.

Godbee and his wife, Yolanda Godbee, filed for divorce on August 13 and have not lived together for over a year. She tweeted on Saturday night: “Wow. Looks like the Chief is not who we all thought he was. So sad!” Godbee is set to return from San Diego on Wednesday, but his suspension is effective immediately.

Follow Jay Scott Smith on Twitter @JayScottSmith