PHOTO: DETROIT FREE PRESS
The Detroit City Council has replaced its embattled President Charles Pugh, who has avoided meetings for three weeks and gone into seclusion after allegations were first reported involving an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy.
The Council has appointed Saunteel Jenkins as its new council president, reports the Detroit Free Press and Huffington Post Detroit. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr stripped Pugh of his pay and authority on June 27. The order became effective July 7.
[T]he victim’s mother [said she] is concerned about the impact all of this is having on him and he will seek treatment. "We will conduct our investigation , but we are suspending any decision on when to file any civil action and as a result of a conversation with the Madison Heights Police Department, they’ve agreed to put on hold their work on file in terms of bringing my client in," said [attorney] Bill Seikaly.
Seikaly said he believes there are more victims out there, but Madison Heights Police say they have not received and have no knowledge of any additional complaints against Pugh.
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 in late June.
Charles Pugh was among the most prominent Black, openly gay elected officials in the nation. 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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