OCTOBER 04, 2012
What is it about Detroit public officials and sex scandals? In just a few years, a mayor and two police chiefs in Michigan’s largest city have made headlines for their unscrupulous extracurricular activities.
Keep in mind that this is a city rife with all sorts of public corruption. In the last few years Detroit’s mayor (Kwame Kilpatrick) went to jail for a multitude of crimes, a deputy mayor and prominent city councilwoman each plead guilty to bribery in different schemes, several public school employees got charged with numerous felonies for embezzling education funds and a mayoral aide got federally indicted for bribery and extortion.
Two years ago the city’s police chief, Warren Evans, was fired over a sexual relationship with a subordinate and an unauthorized appearance in a reality television show. The disgraced chief also disciplined an officer for bad-mouthing his girlfriend at the time, a lieutenant on the force named Monique Patterson.
This week the cop (Ralph Godbee) picked by Detroit’s mayor to replace Evans as police chief, got slapped with a 30-day suspension for having an extramarital affair with one of his officers, Angelica Robinson. It appears that yet another mess is brewing in Motor City. Officer Robinson has lawyered up, which means there’s probably a lawsuit in the making and, once again, Detroit taxpayers will get stuck with a fat bill.
Here is a good indicator that the city will end up doling out some cash to settle the case; Officer Robinson’s attorney told the local newspaper that she was trying to end the affair and the chief didn’t like it. Then she became “very depressed” and there was “concern” that she might commit suicide. Officer Robinson’s gun has been taken away and she is being evaluated by a doctor, according to her attorney.
Detroit taxpayers have for years felt the deep financial pain caused by its never-ending roster of corrupt public officials. Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a convicted felon who went to jail in 2008, lied under oath at a police whistleblower trial to hide an extramarital affair with a city staffer. The cops had been wrongfully fired for asking questions that could have exposed the undercover romance and Kilpatrick ended up orchestrating a secret city deal to pay the officers nearly $9 million for their troubles.
Kilpatrick had been mayor for six years and got charged with nearly a dozen felonies before hitting the slammer. Less than a year later, a veteran city councilwoman (the wife of Michigan Democrat Rep. John Conyers) got busted for taking bribes. Capping a lengthy federal investigation, Monica Conyers finally admitted that she took bribes from a developer to change her vote on a major city contract.
Around the same time five officials from the cash-strapped Detroit Public School system, long known as a cesspool of fraud and mismanagement, got criminally charged for operating an illegal scheme in which they openly stole tens of thousands of dollars from the system, took illegal kickbacks and paid friends who never did any work for the district.
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