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Detroit Council Merry-Go-Round Continues In Pugh’s Absence

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Vickie Thomas with Saunteel Jenkins Detroit City Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins

DETROIT (WWJ) The merry-go-round that has become Detroit’s City Council took another spin Monday with the announcement councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins is now standing in as president following Charles Pugh’s disappearing act and the resignation of Councilman Gary Brown.

Where it stops, nobody knows.

Brown left to take a $225,000-a-year job as compliance officer with emergency manager Kevyn Orr, and Pugh has — literally — disappeared amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a teen he was mentoring through a school program undertaken as part of his role as a city leader.

“Now we need some closure, we need to understand what Charles’ plans are, if he’s coming back to council, then that’s great, we can move forward, if he’s not we need to hear from him so that City Council can move forward appropriately with its business,” Jenkins said.

Pugh is currently being investigated by Madison Heights police after a new criminal complaint was lodged against him. It’s tied to claims about the allegedly inappropriate relationship with a teen, though police haven’t released any details.

Initially, Pugh sent Orr a letter requesting an extended medical leave for undisclosed reasons, but Orr rejected it and set a deadline for Pugh to reappear to keep his job. Pugh didn’t show, and his pay and benefits were halted.

In the meantime, Jenkins says she hopes Pugh — who was spotted in Seattle last week by a TV news view who sent the local media photos of what appeared to be a relaxed Pugh reading in a coffee shop  – is taking care of himself.

“I was happy to see that he is physically healthy,” Jenkins said.

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