Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is taking action against City Council President Charles Pugh for missing his 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline to return to City Council.
Orr's legal team is preparing an order to stop Pugh's pay, benefits and responsibilities with the Council. This comes after Pugh has missed several Council meetings and has not been answering phone calls from colleagues and the media.
On Tuesday, Pugh sent a note to Orr informing him he would be taking medical leave. Orr denied that leave of absence.
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.
The deadline Orr set for Pugh to return to work or lose his salary passed without word from Pugh.
"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," said Orr spokesman Bill Nowling.
The order could be published as early as Wednesday night or Thursday.
Meanwhile, Pugh is accused of having an "inappropriate relationship" with a teen who, according to the lawsuit, Pugh had been mentoring.