Former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh has finally resigned after a three-month, unexplained absence from City Hall, reports the Associated Press, Deroit Free Press and Detroit News. Pugh went into hiding in mid-June after allegations were first reported involving an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy.
A spokesman for emergency manager Kevyn Orr says in an email that the two-paragraph letter was left about 3 p.m. Friday at the 11th floor front desk. The letter is signed "Charles Pugh" and says he has accepted "an offer for employment elsewhere."
Orr stripped Pugh of his pay and authority on June 27. The order became effective July 7.
The family of an 18-year-old recent graduate of Detroit's Douglass Academy for Young Men—where Pugh once 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 deleted his social media accounts, changed his phone numbers and went into hiding. He was spotted at a Starbucks in Seattle in late June.
Meanwhile: The former Detroit City Council president has been spotted in New York City in recent weeks ...
Pugh—who was a popular television reporter and news anchor in Detroit before turning to politics—attended a Monday meeting of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. "The group’s president, Michael J. Feeney, said Pugh sat in the front row, was attentive and mingled with fellow journalists during a reception that followed," reported the Detroit News. Feeney uploaded the above photo to Instagram with this caption: "Look at Charles Pugh at the NYABJ meeting!"
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 also received the most votes in the general election. He made history as the first openly gay person on the Detroi City Council and its first openly gay president.
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