Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh has been missing from the past three City Council meetings. His colleagues again wanted answers Tuesday about where and why the president is not at work.
"The absence is a concern because there are issues pending before the Council that require the president's input," said Councilman Ken Cockrel Jr.
Pugh has not been answering phone calls for days. Local 4 caught up with him at the end of last week and asked him about rumors about issues in his personal life -- none health related. Pugh said none of it was true, that his phone had been ringing off the hook and he blamed disgruntled former employees for talking smack.
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Then, the normally very public Pugh disabled his social media profiles and clammed up. Remember, this is a guy who tweeted pictures of himself shirtless.
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On Tuesday, Pugh sent a note to the Detroit emergency manager telling him he is taking a leave of absence for up to a month.
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is not having any of that. He is telling Pugh to inform him by 5 p.m. Wednesday on whether he can perform his duties. There is no provision in the Detroit City Charter for elected officials to just announce they are taking a leave of absence for any reason.
Orr can't un-elect Pugh but he can stop him from getting paid. The message is clear: you're either going to work or you're not getting a paycheck.