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Lawsuit: City Council Member Willfully Damaged Foreclosed Home On Way Out

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George Cushingberry. File Photo (WWJ/Vickie Thomas)

George Cushingberry. File Photo (WWJ/Vickie Thomas)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A credit union has sued a Detroit City Council member, saying he “willfully and maliciously” damaged his foreclosed home.

The Public Service Credit Union is seeking $56,000 from George Cushingberry Jr. and his wife, Maria Drew Cushingberry. The complaint says they removed kitchen cabinets and fixtures.

The suit says Cushingberry defaulted on a $242,000 loan. A woman bought it in February for $35,000.

A local TV station had reported in January that Cushingberry’s neighbors were angry about what happened at his house.

One neighbor said Cushingberry moved out immediately after he was elected, and left the 3,500 square foot home to rot. He allegedly gutted it, leaving the once-elaborate home without sinks or toilets.

Cushingberry reportedly filed for bankruptcy in 2011, when he was a half-million dollars in debt. At the time, he owned the house in Detroit, plus properties in Lansing and Florida.

This is not the first time Cushingberry has been the subject of legal action; he was pulled over by police Jan. 7 during an incident where they said alcohol and marijuana were in his vehicle.

He accepted a plea deal in that case and paid a $95 fine.

Police said they noticed a strong smell of marijuana, a half cup of alcohol, and an open rum bottle after stopping Cushingberry. His passenger had a medical marijuana license.

Cushingberry publicly protested the stop, saying he wasn’t drunk, and an empty liquor bottle found in the backseat of his car was old.

The councilman complaineds he was racially profiled, saying he was pulled over for “driving while black.”

Detroit Police Chief James Craig countered that Cushingberry appeared to have gotten “special treatment” — because no sobriety test was issued before police sent him back on his way.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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