No new leadership for council after Pugh disappears – for now

SJenkins_lgDetroit City Council balked at replacing missing President Charles Pugh today because of murky legal questions surrounding his removal by an emergency manager.

The council also delayed appointing a new president pro tem to replace Gary Brown, who left to take a $225,000 job with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

Council members plan to choose the next president and pro tem Tuesday, which is when city attorneys expect to have a legal opinion on making the replacements.

“I don’t feel comfortable voting on a president until I receive something in writing,” Councilwoman Brenda Jones said. “This one council member doesn’t want to be sued.”

In the meantime, Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins will remain the interim president because she is the highest vote-getter among current members.

Orr stripped Pugh of his responsibilities last week after the council president issued a notice that he’d be sick for the next three to four weeks. Orr responded by removing Pugh from his position as president for failing to return to council meetings.

Since then, a mother of a high school student is alleging the council president had an inappropriate relationship with her son. Police are investigating.

The council also is without Kwame Kenyatta, who resigned last month amidst the emergency manager takeover.

That leaves the council with six of its nine council members.

Orr has ordered council to keep the seats vacant to save money in the cash-strapped budget, which he was hired to oversee.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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  • Bob Connely

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, the 3, 4, 5, or 6 staff members to each Councilclown are still in Phat City, drawing the lean green from good old Whitey. If Orr knew what he was doing, he would have sacked that whole gang of clowns in his day 2.