Warren Evans was the chief of the Detroit Police Department. Monique Russell-Patterson is still a Detroit police lieutenant. Together they’re an item of the day, says Detroit News columnist Laura Berman. As Evans described it on Facebook, “It’s a shame when it’s problematic for singles to date. Shame on me for not hiding it! Or being married with a girlfriend on the job like so many others.” That flip retort makes for a perfect sound bite but lousy logic, Berman says.
Evans was forced to resign last week by Mayor Dave Bing, who questioned Evans’ judgment. Evans is right that his romance isn’t barred by law or internal policy. But in the case of the Detroit police chief, a romantic relationship with an underling at work wasn’t only personal. It was inevitably a management decision, and one whose repercussions turned out to be disastrous for the chief, says Berman, who adds, “We no longer live in the ‘Mad Men’ era, circa 1964, when the well-groomed CEO got his pick of the secretarial pool.”