DETROIT (WWJ) – Former longtime Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans is hoping to unseat Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, who’s running for a fourth term — but will controversy weigh him down?
Like Ficano, Evans is not without scandal. He was forced out of his job as Detroit Police Chief in 2010 after a pitch reel for a reality show was released showing him breaking down doors and toting automatic weapons. Then-mayor Dave Bing had banned TV crews from going out with cops after a 7-year-old girl was killed during a police raid filmed for “The First 48.”
Evans was also romantically involved with a subordinate — Lt. Monique Patterson — who, in an odd twist, was also having an affair with the married Ralph Godbee, who replaced him as Detroit’s top cop.
That love triangle scandal shouldn’t hurt Evan’s bid for the job, according to political consultant Steve Hood.
“He loves the county, he loves law enforcement, he only made one mistaken,” Hood said, in an interview with WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas. “And some people in the player community wouldn’t say that was a mistake; she was beautiful — beautiful! So, mistake worth making.”
Amid coverage of the Godbee scandal, Evans lashed out about what he saw as injustice. “As a single man, I had an open and public relationship with a member of the department who was also single,” Evans wrote in a letter to the media. “This is a significant distinction between my relationship and the current chief’s extramarital affairs.”
Evans has said he made his relationship “clear” to the mayor at the time “and was not challenged about it or admonished for it.” He also said he’d obtained permission from the mayor’s office to shoot the TV promo.
Evans filed the paperwork, making his run of the executive office official on Monday — the same day Ficano officially announced his plans to stay seated.
Ficano has come under fire for overseeing a county government that’s over $175 million in debt, having former staff members serving prison time for corruption, and a failed jail project, among other issues. But, he says, he remains the man to lead Wayne County.
Westland Mayor Bill, County Commissioner Kevin McNamara and State Representative Bill Cavanaugh are also vying for the executive office.