DETROIT—Mayor Dave Bing and Interim Police Chief Chester Logan announced Monday morning that Police Chief Ralph Godbee, Jr. has retired amid an interdepartmental sex scandal.
“Today, after 25 years of service, Police Chief Ralph Godbee submitted a letter of retirement affective immediately,” Bing, told the press.
The mayor said he met with Godbee over the weekend and at that time Godbee informed Bing of his decision to step down.
“Contrite” and “embarrassed” were the words Bing used to describe Godbee when the embattled police chief told the mayor that he would retire during their meeting.
“It is with great honor and respect that I announce my retirement from the Detroit Police Department,” Godbee wrote in his letter of retirement. “I am thankful and forever indebted to the residents of this great city for allowing me to serve this community for over 25 years.”
Nowhere in the letter did Godbee mention why he was retiring or admit to his inappropriate behavior.
Bing said he did not have to fire Godbee, who willingly announced his retirement.
“I did not force him to resign. He told me what his decision was,” Bing said. “I think he made the right decision.”
Bing said that he was aware of an interdepartmental relationship between Godbee and Lt. Monique Patterson at the time of his appointment to chief, but that didn’t keep him from hiring Godbee.
“I was aware that there was a relationship between the Chief and Lt. Patterson but I believed he was the most qualified person,” Bing said.
Godbee is the third police chief Bing has gone through during his three-year tenure as mayor. Bing defended his ability to select police leadership.
“At the time of my selections, I made the right decision. But there were circumstances out of my control,” he said. “I told him what my expectations were. Godbee didn’t live up to that expectation and that’s why we are where we are today.”
On a personal level, Bing expressed concern for Godbee. “It bothers me and hurts me a great deal that it has to come to this,” he said adding that he respected Godbee and had come to know the former chief very well over his two-year tenure. “I worry about him.”
Assistant Police Chief Logan will continue to serve as interim police chief until the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners selects candidates for Bing to choose from. The Mayor’s choice for police chief will then go before the Detroit City Council for a vote.
Logan said he was humbled to serve as chief during this trying time for the force. “I appreciate mayor Bing for having confidence in my ability to lead.” Logan told the press. “It is important that there is no interruption in crime fighting during his time.”
The police department made “great strides” under Chief Godbee’s leadership according to Logan, and the department will continue to work diligently to curb crime.
An outside police department will continue the investigation into misuse of police resources tied to Godbee’s relationship with Internal Affairs Officer Angelica Robinson.
“I don’t want to say who will be investigating, but there will be an investigation,” Logan said.
Bing said a policy against fraternizing with subordinates should be created as a citywide measure, not just for police. There is no policy against such relationships now.
The mayor said he plans to meet with human recourses and law department officials to move towards creating a policy that prohibits all ranking city officials from engaging in intimate relationships with subordinates.