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Investigation suspended for Pugh, new Detroit City Council leadership selected

Charles Pugh
Charles Pugh
Charles Pugh

A police investigation of former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh was stopped yesterday.

Police were investigating Pugh after allegations were made that Pugh had "inappropriate contact" with an 18-year-old student that he was mentoring at Fredrick Douglass High School.

According to the Associated Press, "the teen's mother fears that the case is harming [her son] psychologically."

Madison Heights police said in a statement Monday they're honoring the family's request and postponing an interview with the teen. The department says it isn't forwarding the case to prosecutors because it's necessary to speak with the victim "in order to do a complete and thorough investigation."

Credit Saunteel Jenkins / LinkedIn
New Detroit City Council President Saunteel Jenkins

Pugh has not attended a Detroit City Council meeting for more than three weeks. He was stripped of his pay and his position as President of the council by Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr.

Today, the Detroit City Council named new leadership. The Council selected council member Saunteel Jenkins as president. 

Jenkins had been leading the council in Pugh's absence. She also serves as the substance abuse program director at Mariners Inn, and is the founder of Petite Sweets, a dessert catering company.

According to Darren A. Nichols of The Detroit News, a few council members, JoAnn Watson and Brenda Jones, were upset that the group voted on new leadership and didn't take part in the vote.

"It's out of order," Watson said, adding there was no need to take a vote because Jenkins has already been serving as the body's leader. "You are the president because you are the next in line. It does not require a vote."

Credit City of Detroit
Andre L. Spivey, new president pro tem of the Detroit City Council

Detroit City Council also named a new president pro tem, Andre Spivey.

Spivey replaced Gary Brown, who is now working in the emergency manager's office as the "chief restructuring officer."

Spivey told The Detroit News that the Detroit City Council needed leadership in order to best help Orr bring Detroit toward financial stability:

"I'm here to continue to serve in that capacity. It's a matter of just moving a chair over. That's nothing more important to me (than) to continue to serve the people in the city and make sure we hear their voices every single week."

-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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