Charles Pugh

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Charles Pugh
Member of the Detroit City Council
In office
January 1, 2010 – September 13, 2013
President of the Detroit City Council
In office
January 1, 2010 – July 7, 2013
Preceded by Kenneth Cockrel, Jr.
Succeeded by Saunteel Jenkins

Charles Pugh (born August 3, 1971) is an American television journalist, radio personality, and politician best known for his career for ten years for being the weekend anchor at WJBK in Detroit. Pugh was elected council president of Detroit City Council in Detroit's city elections in 2009. He also served as the radio personality on CoCo, Foolish and Mr. Chase in the Morning and his own talk show, That's What's Up, which originally aired Sunday evenings on WJLB.[1]

Pugh, who came out as gay in 2004, was the city's first openly gay elected official.[2]

Pugh resigned from the station in March 2009 to pursue his political campaign.[3] He won the most votes of any council candidate on election day,[1] giving him the title of council president, despite a controversy late in the campaign when he acknowledged that he had been struggling financially and his home had been foreclosed.[2]

In 2012, Pugh made headlines in what local newspapers termed a "Twitter war" with an intern at Automotive News. After a brief disagreement on the social network, Pugh tweeted Automotive News requesting that they speak with the intern about his "offensive" posts.[4] Pugh's action was widely derided.[citation needed]

On June 26, 2013, Pugh made headlines again, when it was alleged that while serving as president of Detroit City Council he had an inappropriate relationship with a male high school student, aged 17 or 18,[5] whom he mentored. Family spokesman Skip Mongo told reporters Pugh “was in a position of authority and he tried to seduce this young man.” News broke of the allegations, and Pugh went into hiding requesting a four-week medical leave, which was denied.[6]

On June 27, 2013, Detroit emergency financial manager Kevyn Orr removed Pugh of his responsibilities and pay as president of Detroit City Council.[7]

On June 29, 2013, a police report was filed claiming a teenager was being groomed by Pugh.[8] Though at first saying that he could not disclose whether sexual activity took place,[6] the family's lawyer later stated no physical contact happened.[8] The teen's mother complained of being accused of trying to extract a cash payment from Pugh after legal experts questioned why she contacted her lawyers before police.[8][9] Pugh's supporters, including colleagues and adolescent students he mentored, said the allegations do not match his behavior in or out of class.[8][9]

Pugh formally resigned from the Detroit City Council in September 2013.[10] In December 2013, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper announced she would not file charges against Pugh as there was no evidence that he had engaged in any wrongdoing.[5] “We didn’t even have enough probable cause to issue subpoenas,” she said. “You have to remember this young man was 18.”[5]