Ex-Detroit police chief regrets he set bad example

DETROIT (AP) — Ex-Detroit police Chief Ralph Godbee is apologizing for setting a bad example through his sexual relationship with a subordinate that forced his resignation.

WDIV-TV broadcast an interview with Godbee on Monday, marking his first public comments since he resigned early last week.

“I’m very contrite. A lot of people put a lot of hope in me,” he said.

Godbee, who is married, was appointed chief two years ago to replace Warren Evans — who was fired over an affair with a female officer who also reportedly was involved with Godbee.

Mayor Dave Bing announced Oct. 2 that he had suspended Godbee for 30 days while the city investigated allegations about the chief’s affair with internal affairs officer Angelica Robinson. Robinson, who also is married, drew attention to the affair when she posted a photo on Twitter of herself with a police gun in her mouth.
Godbee, 44, resigned Oct. 8.

“I take full responsibility for what I did. I am accountable to God for those things,” he said.

Godbee said his physical relationship with Robinson ended one year ago and said he has avoided physical intimacy with her since then. Through her lawyer, Robinson said earlier that Godbee was the pursuer and that she rejected his advances.

Godbee said Robinson posted the photo after learning that he had traveled to a police convention in the company of another woman. When he learned Robinson had posted the photo, he said he sent officers to find her, check on her welfare and retrieve the firearm.

Godbee is the city’s fourth police chief in as many years and the latest in a string of chiefs to resign amid scandal.

In 2009, Bing fired James Barren after less than a year on the job. Bing said Barren didn’t do anything wrong but that he felt the department needed a leadership change. Evans replaced him.

Barren had replaced Ella Bully-Cummings, who retired in 2008 during a text-messaging sex scandal that toppled Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick from office. Bully-Cummings, a staunch Kilpatrick supporter during the scandal, said she quit for personal reasons.

Bully-Cummings followed Jerry Oliver, who resigned in 2003 after federal inspectors found a loaded .25-caliber handgun in his checked baggage at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

And long-time Chief William Hart left in 1991 after a federal grand jury indicted him for embezzling $2.6 million. He served seven years in prison.

Godbee, who is in the process of a divorce with his wife, said he now is trying to clean up his act.

“I’m human. I’m fallible. I made mistakes,” he said. “I’m not going to hide from them.”