Where’s Charles Pugh? That is the question that many Detroiters and officials are asking. On Tuesday Pugh submitted a note to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr stating he would be taking a medical leave. Orr denied the request and order for Pugh to return back to work by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
However, when 5 p.m. Wednesday arrived, there was still no word from Pugh. Bill Nowling, Spokesperson for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr made the following statement:
“We have not heard from him as of 5 o’clock tonight. So, the emergency manager has instructed his legal staff to prepare an order that rescinds the delegation of authority that the emergency manager originally gave to Councilmember Pugh, along with all of the other members of council, and his pay — to bring that down to zero. That’s the only thing he’s allowed to do under the emergency manager law. The emergency manager believes that short of an explanation of the prolonged absence that we’re going to stick to our plan that we expect people to show up to work if they’re going to collect a paycheck from the city.”
The emergency manager has no power to remove the City Council president from office but he can change his pay and responsibilities. Pugh’s salary is $76,000. Orr’s legal team is preparing an order to stop Pugh’s pay, benefits and responsibilities with the Council. Amidst his disappearance allegations have emerged accusing Pugh of having an “inappropriate relationship” with a teen who, according to the lawsuit, Pugh had been mentoring.