A scandal is growing in the city of Detroit involving a councilman who has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a male student he once mentored. Detroit City Council president Charles Pugh (pictured) has been missing from his post for weeks now, which curiously occurred once the allegations of him lavishing the now 18-year-old graduate with gifts and money began to surface.
A report released nearly two weeks ago via Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-7 investigated Pugh’s disappearance, which led many of his colleagues and family to worry about him. However, it appears that what may have the councilman in hiding are accusations from the teen’s mother that Pugh stepped over the line while serving as a mentor.
Pugh met the young man via the Charles Pugh Leadership Forum, which he runs out of Douglass Academy.
Pugh gave an 18-year-old student more than $200 in cash, including money to pay for a prom night hotel and about $150 in dress clothes. He also purchased a cell phone for about $150 and paid for the cost of activation, according to the young man’s mother, who did not want her son to have a phone.
7 Action News recently spoke with the woman but we are not naming her or her son.
The mom told us in a lengthy interview that she is troubled because the money and presents were kept secret from her.
A CBS affiliate in the city reported that the City Council is delaying a vote to dismiss Pugh from his post, although the reason for the vote is not directly linked to the mentee case. Instead, the council found Pugh in violation of ethics for the unexcused absence and denied his request for a four-week medical leave. Pugh was ordered to return to work, but has yet to do so.
Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has already stripped Pugh of his pay and power.
“Please. This will destroy my chances of ever working in Detroit again. And would cause me to have to resign from Council,” read the text sent on June 18. “Please. I’ve ended the program at Fred D. I’ll do anything else u want me to do. This would DESTROY me.”