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Detroit police chief retires after alleged affair with officer

by
Ralph Godbee
Ralph Godbee

(Reuters) - Detroit's police chief retired on Monday amid accusations he had a long-running affair with a female internal affairs officer in the department, the latest scandal to shake the city that also faces a financial crisis.

Chief Ralph L. Godbee Jr.'s exit, which Detroit Mayor Dave Bing called a retirement, follows the resignation of his immediate predecessor, Warren Evans, in mid-2010 over an alleged affair, and former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2008, who now faces trial on unrelated public corruption charges.

Bing had suspended Godbee on October 2 for 30 days and opened an investigation. He had named Assistant Chief Chester Logan as interim chief.

Angelica Robinson has said she had a sexual relationship with Godbee for about a year, her attorney said. Godbee had pursued the officer aggressively and she had wanted to end the relationship, said David Robinson, who is not related to his client.

Court records show that Godbee filed for divorce in August and that a settlement conference has been scheduled for November 26.

The city is in financial crisis and Detroit has made deep cuts in city services, including at the police department. The city reached a consent decree with the state in April that has permitted some state oversight, but not an emergency manager.

Four cities now have emergency managers and Governor Rick Snyder is close to ordering an emergency manager for a fifth city. There are three Michigan school districts operating under emergency managers, including the Detroit Public Schools.

Godbee succeeded Evans in mid-2010 after Evans resigned in part due to fallout from an alleged affair with a subordinate, and one day after a local television station aired an excerpt from a video pitch he made for a possible reality TV show.

Former mayor Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and resigned from office after prosecutors alleged he lied in a civil suit to conceal an affair with his chief of staff.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Jackie Frank)

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