It is official. Though Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr essentially fired him by taking him out of his position as City Council President and cutting off his paycheck, he did not have the power to remove an elected official from office.
Charles Pugh pulled the plug Friday on his political career by submitting his resignation in full to City Clerk Janice Winfrey. He says he has another job offer and he’s moving on. He did not say where he is going to work. We are not certain if he somehow found a media job but we were told his last public sighting was at the convention of African American Journalists in New York.
Most interesting was how we were able to break this story this afternoon on Twitter and ClickOnDetroit. Charles Pugh himself called our assignment desk and spoke with one of our desk editors who knew Charles from his days at Channel 2. He told us to go to City Council and find a letter left for us at the "front desk." Turns out it was at the clerk’s office. While we spent about half an hour trying to find the letter -- we were not told to go to the clerk’s office -- some quick phone work turned up the fact that Charles' resignation letter had been delivered all around the 11th and 13th floors of the City-County Building.
OK, so now this chapter of embarrassing Detroit city history is over, at least in the halls of the City-County Building. But all of this is sad when you consider what has transpired since Pugh disappeared. The city went from Emergency Management to Bankruptcy. Charles was spotted in a Starbucks in Seattle and then again in New York. That is far off travel for a man with no paycheck and serious financial difficulties in his recent past.
Still Charles has many questions to answer after Local 4 reported he cleaned out his townhome near Comerica Park in the early morning hours, under the cover of darkness. Who does that? Why would you do that? Who would hire you with all the baggage you currently carry beyond your luggage? Why just leave the city of Detroit without an explanation to the voters who elected you? What of those allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a high school-age boy? You said you love the city of Detroit, if so why not put yourself in front of the television cameras you sought out previously and tell Detroit what is really going on?
You get the idea.
Charles Pugh is ready to get on with his life. Detroit is decidedly ready to move on as well with much bigger fish to fry than the former city council president. But in the end, voters do deserve an explanation. Considering the clandestine way Pugh left his job, resigned his post and scurried out of town, we aren’t likely to get any ready answers unless there is a subpoena involved.
Detroit definitely deserves better.