Councilman Cushingberry busted with pot, open container but not arrested

George Cushingberry Jr.

Note: Police sources incorrectly stated to the media that Cushingberry was at a strip club. The Penthouse Club is not a strip club. It is a bar. 

Newly elected Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr. is accused of trying to flee police after leaving a Detroit barin possession of marijuana and an open intoxicant.

Now an internal investigation is underway to determine why officers did not arrest Cushingberry, who earlier in the day told the Detroit News to “Go to hell” following an editorial that questioned the wisdom of his new leadership role.

Police said Cushingberry, who became the youngest state House representative when he was elected at the age of 21 in 1975, was leaving the Penthouse Club shortly after 10 p.m. on the city’s northwest side when he nearly struck officers. He refused to pull over at first, leading to a brief pursuit, said an officer who was involved.

When police pulled Cushingberry over, he flashed his council ID and was never arrested. Officers found an open container and pungent marijuana and ticketed him for failing to yield.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said he wasn’t immediately notified of the incident, as required when a public official is pulled over.

“Whenever officers initiate an investigation involving a public official, they’re required to notify a supervisor,” Craig told the Detroit News. “The notification is also supposed to go to the chief’s office, and we’re also looking into why we weren’t notified.”

Cushingberry, who couldn’t be reached for comment, is among a bloc of council members who adamantly oppose state intervention and the appointment of an emergency manager. Brenda Jones, also known as an obstructionist, was elected as council president Monday after striking a private deal that gave Cushingberry the No. 2 position.

Those who supported Cushingberry as president pro tem were Brenda Jones, Scott Benson, Mary Sheffield and Gabe Leland. Cushingberry voted for himself.

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.


    This guy is an IDIOT .

  • Tracey

    Mr. Cushingberry has gone on record to defend the honor of the Penthouse Lounge. He notes that it is not a strip club, but merely a “neighborhood bar and eatery.” He also notes that he’s campaigned there “all year.”

    Technically, he is correct. If one looks up “Penthouse Lounge” on Google, one will clearly see that it’s not described as a “strip club.” It’s described as a “Gentlemen’s Club.” (Note that I retained the spelling and grammatical marks one would find doing said Google search.) If memory serves, it’s so gentlemanly, it even features a billboard sized picture of a busty bleached blond woman bursting out of a skimpy red spaghetti strapped dress. Who says chivalry or the desire for supporting local business is dead?

    Anyway, thank you for showing us all the correct way to play the technicality and duplicity game, Mr. Cushingberry. So many of the previous embarrassments in city government have not had such a masterful grasp of the English language as you. Plus, you’ve shown improvement in a short amount of time, if one takes into account your “go to hell” tantrum earlier this week.

    I can only imagine that your next shameful abuse of power and display of lack of judgment will earn even more points for technical merit and mendacity. Onward and upward, Sir!

    • Dust Buster

      Tracey you are correct. im sure old george didnt some very hard campaigning in that place. im sure he also performed community outreach and some ministering. he was helping some unwed mothers hard at work and mentoring them. imagine if we could get the texts off his city phone? would probably make charles pugh look like a boy scout

      • Tracey

        It’s still early, Dust Buster. I’m sure there will be even more foolishness and nonsense coming soon.

  • Visual Ronin

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s business as usual in Detroit. The names and faces may have changed but everything else remains the same.

  • Samuel Hoadley

    Push the Kush

  • bebow

    Why must a supervisor and the chief be alerted when a public official is encountered by officers in the ordinary course of business? It gives the wrong impression to the subject and the community, suggesting there is more than one standard in place and consideration must be given to “Who the F” (Paging Christine Beatty) is under scrutiny. What action would the commom man receive under the same circumstances? If it’s good enough for us, then it’s good enough for Cushingberry and the rest. All chain of command alerting needs to happen after the fact, after the report is written. When certain “VIPs” get away with flouting the law, lesser beings feel it’s acceptable to do the same, and we have a serious problem with that kind of thing here. The problem is, in fact, so serious that it threatens our survival as individuals and as a community. As it turned out, Christine Beatty wasn’t extra-special after all.

  • Tommy Udo

    Still the worst city council in America.

  • Tracey

    Monica Conyers set the “Pro Tem Foolishness” bar high, and Mr. Cushingberry cleared it with no problem. Points to him for excellence, I suppose….

  • John Golembiewski

    So much for a new day in Detroit:( Cushingberry should step down in the morning and get it over with. Brenda Jones has a responsibility to step up herself and deal wit this and she won’t. Cushingberry is old line politics and there is no room for this today. He should not even have been in the establishment!