Former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee fired back at allegations that he harassed his ex-fiancé after she broke off their engagement.
Merica Patterson filed a personal protection order against Godbee earlier this month, saying the former police chief threatened her for months and used FBI contacts to spy on her.
In a request to terminate the PPO, Godbee, who is a Baptist pastor, called the allegations nonsense and said his contact with her was primarily limited to e-mails containing positive messages and Bible verses.
“I did not make threats, and I did not do or say anything that would make a reasonable person fear violence or interference with her freedom,” Godbee wrote in the request.
Godbee, 46, said he became engaged to be married with Patterson during a cruise in the Bahamas on Dec. 10. But very soon after, the 28-year-old broke it off. As he had done in the past, Godbee said, he tried to reconcile with her using positive messages inspired from the Bible.
On New Year’s eve, Godbee said he thought their relationship was “once again moving forward” after she accepted his money to pay her rent.
“She took the rent money and has not returned it to me,” Godbee said. “I interpreted her conduct as a sign that our relationship was once again moving forward.”
But later that evening, Godbee said, Patterson told him she was in another relationship.
“I attempted to briefly get her to reconsider her decision,” Godbee responded. “I had no success. I last contacted her on January 3, 2104, wished her well in the choices she has made.”
Godbee said he was “shocked” when Patterson filed a PPO and said he suspects her motive was to “hurt me personally and professionally.”
When reached by phone for comment, Patterson hung up.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.