PHOTO: DETROIT FREE PRESS
There are new developments in the bizarre absence and soap opera melodrama surrounding Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh, who has been missing for almost three weeks ever since allegations were first reported involving an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy. Criminal charges were filed last weekend.
The Detroit City Council is now down to six from nine members. The Council has postponed a vote to remove Pugh over legal concerns, reports MLive.com.
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, stripped Pugh of his pay and authority effective July 7. Gary Brown, who was the council's president pro tempore, resigned this week to join Orr's office. Council member Kwame Kenyatta also resigned last month over health concerns and opposition to emergency management.
City lawyers advised the council that Orr's order stripping Pugh of his authority under the state's emergency manager law was solid enough for members to legally elect a new president. But members were hesitant.
Another vote is scheduled for Tuesday.
The family of an 18-year-old recent graduate of Detroit's Douglass Academy for Young Men—where Pugh volunteered as a mentor—has accused the politician of inappropriate conduct. Pugh allegedly bought a cell phone for the teen, gave him hundreds of dollars in cash and bought him clothes. Police say the other allegations involving touching are "vague." Pugh has deleted his social media accounts, changed his phone numbers and gone into hiding. He was spotted at a Starbucks in Seattle last week.
Pugh made history in 2009 as the first openly LGBT elected official in Detroit. The popular and openly gay longtime former Detroit television anchor made history in August 2009 when he finished first in a primary field of over 160 candidates. In November 2009, Pugh finished first again in the general election and became the first openly gay person on the Detroi City Council and its first openly gay president.
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