Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh could lose livelihood amid absence, allegations

Attorneys for mother, teen say Pugh may have seduced teen while mentoring him at Detroit school

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh has been mentoring at the Detroit Public Schools' Douglass Academy for three years.

The mother of one of the students is going after Pugh claiming he bought her son clothes, gave him cash, took him off campus and bought him a cellphone, which has alleged text messages from Pugh.

Read: Detroit City Council president's alleged scandal is latest for beleaguered city

"There was an authoritative figure who went into the school and used his authority -- and I'm not saying sexually -- but absolutely, certainly could seduce this young man," said attorney Spike Mongo, representing the mother and son. "This is another text message scandal and this involves, at the time, it was a 17-year-old kid."

Attorneys dodged the question of whether there was a sexual relationship between Pugh and the student, who would have been 17 years old at the time.

Meanwhile, Pugh has continued to be a no-show at his job. His absence is going on three weeks and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is prepared to stop paying.

Pugh has deactivated his social media accounts. It's not a surprise since rumors of the mess he finds himself in have been ongoing for the past two weeks.

Attorneys for the mother of the now 18-year-old high school graduate say they're not just suing Pugh but also the city of Detroit and Detroit Public Schools.

Top-drawer defense attorney Todd Flood says he can't see two out of three going anywhere.

"What pocket Mr. Pugh has would be the only pocket he could probably grab in to, the lawyers," said Flood.

Moreover, there is a red flag: no one called police and no one got a personal protection order.

If this student was being sexually stalked by Pugh, no one thought calling the police or Child Protective Services was a good idea?

"I can't imagine ever going forward with a civil lawsuit without having -- and when there's criminal culpability -- without having the criminal aspect taking place first, or at least investigated," said Flood.

When the mother called DPS in the first week of June her complaint was not about a possible sexual relationship. She was unhappy about Pugh buying things for her son.

Detroit Public Schools leaders say they reached out to the mother repeatedly and were told by the mother that she would handle this privately.

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