|Member of the Detroit City Council|
January 1, 2010 – September 13, 2013
|President of the Detroit City Council|
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.
Pugh resigned from the station in March 2009 to pursue his political campaign. He won the most votes of any council candidate on election day, 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.
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. Pugh's action was widely derided.
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, 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.
On June 29, 2013, a police report was filed claiming a teenager was being groomed by Pugh. Though at first saying that he could not disclose whether sexual activity took place, the family's lawyer later stated no physical contact happened. 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. Pugh's supporters, including colleagues and adolescent students he mentored, said the allegations do not match his behavior in or out of class.
Pugh formally resigned from the Detroit City Council in September 2013. 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. “We didn’t even have enough probable cause to issue subpoenas,” she said. “You have to remember this young man was 18.”
- "Pugh, Brown will lead revamped Detroit council". Detroit News, November 3, 2009.
- "Can Detroit's First Openly Gay Pol Save the City?". TIME, November 2, 2009.
- "Charles Says Goodbye to Fox 2". WJBK-TV, March 29, 2009.
- "Charles Pugh, intern in Twitter argument". Detroit Free Press, June 26, 2012.
- LL Braiser (December 13, 2013). "Ex-Detroit Council President Charles Pugh won't face charges in case with teen". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- "Where's Charles Pugh? Kevyn Orr moves to halt his salary; lawyer accuses council president of misdeeds with teen". Detroit Free Press, June 26, 2013.
- "Orr to strip Pugh of Detroit City Council duties, pay". The Detroit News, June 26, 2013.
- "Teen files police report against Charles Pugh". Detroit Free Press. 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "Students say Charles Pugh wanted to help kids; accounts different than mother's allegations". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
- Matt Helms (September 13, 2013). "Former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh: 'I'm moving on, by the grace of God'". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved January 7, 2014.