Lessons for Public Officials

Lesson One: if you are a public official, and married, do not have sex with people to whom you are not married.

Lesson Two: if you are a public official and violate lesson one, at least take care not to do it with a subordinate.

Ralph Godbee, the chief of the Detroit Police Department, broke both rules (twice).   Godbee was placed on a 30 day administrative leave  Tuesday afternoon when allegations that he was having an affair with one of his subordinates surfaced.  I personally couldn’t care less as to who the man is sleeping with.  But, due to the fact that he’s a public official with a fair degree of power, it will automatically become an issue and detract from his ability to do his job, by default compelling all of us to suddenly give a shit.  Yes, he’s married, but going through a divorce.  So what?  The fact that this conversation is taking place at all is the first, and the only, piece of evidence, that’s needed to extrapolate that Godbee’s job suddenly became much, much harder than it was yesterday.

The article above alleges that when Angela Robinson, Godbee’s mistress, attempted to end the relationship, Godbee thwarted her efforts.  Now, while that may, or may not, be true, and it could have about a billion different interpretations, it’s damaging, and I’ll explain why: because we’re talking about it.  On top of the fact that we’re discussing an affair the chief of police conducted, now we have to get into all of the other various nuances as to why his judgement was impaired, and all the ramifications that come up from not just having said affair, but by  having the affair with one of his subordinates, opens up a whole other can of worms.

To up the ante on an already stratospherically high stupid quotient in this situation, we can’t even be charitable and dismiss this as a lapse in judgement.  We can’t do that because this isn’t the first time that Ralph’s been balling one of his subordinates.  Godbee took over for a man named Warren Evans who left the DPD due to, among other reasons, an affair he had been having with one of his subordinates, a certain Lt. Brenda Patterson.  Godbee was appointed to take his place.  Well, turns out Ralph had been screwing Patterson as well.  Shit.

I could come up with hundreds of examples of antics like this that have more in common with a class of poorly supervised kindergarteners than the democratically elected an appointed leaders of a major American city.  Detroit is finally on the cusp of turning a corner after decades of suffering, and still, this is the sort of issue upon which we have to focus?  Any improvements that have been made in Detroit have occurred not because of, but in spite of, the city government.  Imagine, for a moment, what this city would look like if we had a political apparatus that actually knew what it was doing.  Now, open your eyes, return to the present, and gaze upon the mediocrities that we have in place running the show.

Godbee’s gotta go.

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