Cushingberry avoids reporters at Detroit City Council chambers

George Cushingberry lets lawyer do all talking about now-infamous traffic stop

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

DETROIT - George Cushingberry was at the Detroit City Council table Tuesday doing business but he was not anxious to speak with reporters who might have asked him about his now-infamous traffic stop which Police Chief James Craig said will not lead to any charges against him.

Cushingberry, the Council President Pro-Tem, slipped out the back of the Council chambers and let his lawyer, Todd Russell Perkins, do the talking.

"That is a fortuitous situation, so that's something to be positive about," said Perkins.

Chief Craig passed his findings along to the city's inspector general.

"It's always best to not make a statement. It's always best, from a legal perspective," said Perkins.

It also avoids a scene such as the one with Local 4 Defender Hank Winchester last week.

"I defer to my council, I've been advised by council to defer any legal matters to him," Cushingberry told Winchester, who asked him about parking tickets he owed to the city.

Perkins says Cushingberry settled with the city, paying off all the parking tickets that had run up a tab of more than $2,000. However, paperwork shows Cushingberry will lose his law license for 45 days starting on Feb. 18 after he pleaded no contest to charges of professional misconduct. He will have to pay court costs of nearly $1,000 and take continuing education coursework.

Story: Detroit Councilman Cushingberry's law license to be suspended

It's a far cry from his previous words.

"The key is that it can't be business as usual down here," Cushingberry said as he took office.

Cushingberry also will have to pay his former client $500 as part of his no-contest plea with the Attorney Disciplinary Board.

Moreover, the Pro-Tem has a March court date in a similar case where a former client is suing him for $24 million for alleged legal malpractice.

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