Detroit mayor suspends police chief

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee (pictured) has been suspended by Mayor David Bing in a probe of unspecified allegations. /AP Photo/Detroit News, Brandy Baker

DETROIT — Detroit Mayor Dave Bing suspended the city’s police chief Tuesday amid allegations that the married police chief had a relationship with a subordinate.

Chief Ralph Godbee and the woman, an internal affairs officer, had been in a relationship that she eventually tried to end, David Robinson, the woman’s attorney, told the Detroit Free Press.

“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,” Bing said in a statement Tuesday that did not specify the allegations.

Godbee could not be reached Tuesday afternoon for comment, police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said. Robinson didn’t immediately return phone and email messages from the Associated Press.

Assistant Chief Chester Logan will assume Godbee’s responsibilities during the suspension, Bing said.

Godbee was named chief in 2010 after Bing fired then-chief Warren Evans. Evans, a former Wayne County sheriff, was appointed chief by Bing in 2009 and fired after he raised the mayor’s ire by taking part in a promotional video for a cable police reality show. Bing later said he also fired Evans because the chief was romantically involved with a subordinate, Lt. Monique Patterson.

Godbee, too, had a romantic relationship with Patterson before she began dating Evans and when she was Godbee’s subordinate, her lawyer said in 2010.

The prior relationship between Godbee and Patterson was disclosed publicly after Godbee was named interim chief, and Bing issued a strongly worded statement after its disclosure saying he wasn’t considering firing Godbee for having an affair with a subordinate.

Godbee, 44, 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 Evans was hired.

— Associated Press