DETROIT - Former Detroit City Council president Charles Pugh has dropped his appeal of a settlement that ordered him to pay $250,000 to an accuser in a civil trial.
Pugh and the Detroit school district were sued by a former student who said his civil rights were violated by both. The lawsuit claimed Pugh was given extraordinary access to boys who were being mentored at Douglass Academy in 2012.
In November, a jury found Pugh not liable for sexual harassment. However, the jury decided he did cause emotional distress for the teen and pressured him to create a sexual video. The jury also found Pugh liable of sexual battery.
Overall, Pugh rang up a tab of $600,000 through this civil trial. The first $350,000 is the amount the Detroit Public Schools district agreed to pay the young man, whose initials are K.S. The district did that so it could walk away from the case.
The next $250,000 is what the jury ordered Pugh to pay K.S. on his own after ruling in K.S.'s favor on two counts. Pugh's attorney filed paperwork with the court saying he didn't believe his client has to pay that money.
Here was his reasoning:
"Plaintiff suffered a single injury ... as a general rule, only one recovery for a single injury is allowed under Michigan law. The amount that a plaintiff recovers from one defendant is set off against a subsequent verdict obtained against a codefendant."
That appeal is now dismissed.
The former student, who was 17 at the time, said Pugh was grooming him for sexual advances. Pugh denies the allegations. Police said the two exchanged hundreds of text messages, including some that were sexually explicit.
Pugh was not charged criminally in connection to the allegations. He did not attended the trial, and testified through a video deposition that was recorded before trial.
Pugh resigned from the Detroit City Council in 2013. Months later, a TV station found him living in New York and working at a restaurant.
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