DETROIT (WXYZ) - Tonight, the Action News Investigators are breaking new ground in the sudden resignation of Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans, and there’s more to it than the controversial sizzle reel. Action News Investigator Scott Lewis has new details in Evans' sudden resignation.
There's no question that video tape was a big factor in the chief’s demise, but it’s not the only thing that was rubbing the mayor’s office the wrong way.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS: Monique Patterson held a sensitive position in the Detroit Police department. Sources say Evans put her in charge of a special unit that did inspections on other police officers. It was part of the department’s efforts to make improvements demanded by the US Justice Department. Some officers were uncomfortable with Lieutenant Patterson scrutinizing them while also having a personal relationship with the Chief of Police.
Action News has also learned that at least one officer who raised questions about Evans’ relationship with this lieutenant wound up being transferred out of a high-profile position. Two sources have confirmed that a police officer named Shanda Starks raised questions about the relationship before it was well-known in the department. Our sources say Starks was later transferred out of Mayor Bing’s security unit. The sources say the Mayor told the Chief to put her back in, but it never happened.
Chief Warren Evans was involved in a romantic relationship with a woman named Monique Patterson. Both acknowledge their relationship on their Facebook pages, and Action News has learned that was another bone of contention with the mayor’s office.
The problem? Monique Patterson is Lieutenant Monique Patterson.
She’s one of Chief Evan’s underlings. Not a good thing, according to a business ethics professor at the University of Detroit Mercy. He says it presents a conflict of interest.
"The supervisor has the job of evaluating that person, of deciding salary increases, promotions. And how can you do that objectively when it’s somebody you are very close to," said Professor Gerald Cavanagh from the University of Detroit Mercy.
And there's more. Action News has learned that that Lieutenant Monique Patterson has a checkered background in the police department.
Court records obtained by the Investigators show that in 2000, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office charged Patterson with four felony counts involving a gun. She allegedly pulled a gun inside the River Rock bar in Detroit.
Patterson was eventually found not guilty on all charges. Even if Patterson’s record was squeaky clean, the relationship raised questions about Evans' judgment, according to the eithics professor.
And it has the potential to cause bad blood in the department.
"Bad morale, people being jealous, people saying that person is getting favorable treatment whether they are or they aren’t. Not a wise smart thing to do," said Professor Cavanagh.
While Monique Patterson was acquitted in the criminal case, she was found guilty of departmental charges for the gun incident. Action News has learned that she served a 45-day suspension without pay, and this happened right around the time she was promoted to lieutenant.
Channel 7's Bill Proctor approached Chief Evans about his relationship with Patterson yesterday and requested an on-camera interview, but the resignation was announced before the Chief got back to us on our request.
Late today, department spokesman John Roach told us that there are no policies in the police department prohibiting fraternization.
If you have a tip for the Action News Investigators, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (248) 827-9466.
More from The Investigators
In a blistering complaint, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper says her office has found seven cases where Novi District Judge Brian Mackenzie improperly dismissed misdemeanor charges where plaintiffs had already pled guilty or no contest.
Briona Leverett last saw her big brother Cedell the day before he was murdered. The husband and father was gunned down outside Eastland Mall in 2010 by a man that a judge let free just hours earlier.
A federal judge has ruled that a couple’s lawsuit against a Wayne County judge can go forward.