Detroit Mayor Dave Bing suspended Ralph Godbee on Tuesday from his $140,400-a-year job amid allegations that the married chief of police had a sexual relationship with a subordinate.
Godbee, 44, and Angelica Robinson, a 37-year-old internal affairs officer, had been conducting an affair that she said had run its course, according to her attorney, David Robinson.
"There was a sexual relationship between my client and Godbee," David Robinson told The Associated Press on Tuesday evening. "She was trying to end the relationship, and Godbee didn’t want to let it go."
Bing fired Godbee’s predecessor, Warren Evans, in 2010, partly because he was romantically involved with a female officer.
In the more recent case, Angelica Robinson posted a photo of herself with her service weapon in her mouth on the social media site Twitter after learning Godbee was at a weekend police conference with another woman, David Robinson said.
He said Godbee had other officers locate Angelica Robinson and put her under surveillance.
"Obviously, it raised the implication of suicide," David Robinson said. "The story is that she was hurt he was at a conference with another woman. Certainly this has created a lot of pressure. Unfairly, her future is a little bit uncertain. She has to suffer the humiliation."
Angelica Robinson has been reassigned from internal affairs to other duties and does not have use of her service weapon. The mayor said in a statement Tuesday that he has suspended Godbee for 30 days "pending a full and thorough investigation of this matter."
Assistant Chief Chester Logan will assume Godbee’s responsibilities during the suspension, Bing said.
Godbee was not available for comment late Tuesday, police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said.
Angelica Robinson, who is married, told her attorney that the relationship with Godbee lasted about a year.
The relationship was consensual, but the police chief "exceeded his professional status ... (and) breached the trust of the department," David Robinson said.
Godbee filed for divorce from his wife, Yolanda, in August, according to Wayne County court records reviewed Wednesday by The Associated Press.
The filing lists no reasons for the divorce filing other than a "breakdown of marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been dissolved and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved."
The couple has been separated since April.
Records show they were married in December 1990. The couple has a college-age daughter.
Godbee has been ordered to deposit funds into the couple’s joint bank account to help pay the family’s expenses. A preliminary mutual restraining order prevents either from transferring property and assets.
"We tried to keep it private," Yolanda Godbee’s divorce attorney Sorenia Whittington told the AP Wednesday. "No one wants their private life blasted in public. It’s very unfortunate, but this story is the chief’s, not the wife’s. He’s got the problem. He’s the one with his career on the line."
Bing appointed former Wayne County sheriff Warren Evans as police chief in 2009 but fired him after he took 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 Lt. Monique Patterson.
Godbee also had a romantic relationship with Patterson before she began dating Evans and when she was Godbee’s subordinate.
The relationship between Godbee and Patterson was made public after Godbee was named interim chief. Bing subsequently issued a statement insisting he wouldn’t fire Godbee for having an affair with a subordinate.
Godbee and Bing have been assailed by officers in recent weeks over a 10 percent pay cut and implementation of 12-hour workdays to help cut millions of dollars from the police budget. Officers complain the cuts and new work rules are too much to take in a city with one of the highest violent crime rates in the country.
The 287 murders were committed through Sept. 23 in Detroit — 26 more than at the same point last year.
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.