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Detroit's emergency manager takes away council president's paycheck

June 28, 2013 at 1:03 AM   |   Comments

DETROIT, June 28 (UPI) -- Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh has had his salary and authority taken away, though he keeps his title, the city's emergency manager said Thursday.

Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed manager, said Pugh will keep his health benefits, at least for the moment, the Detroit Free Press reported. Orr turned down Pugh's request Wednesday for a medical leave but said he does not want to deprive him of health care.

Bill Nowling, an Orr spokesman, said Pugh can still attend council meetings and cast votes, although those votes might not be counted.

Pugh has not been seen for several days. On Wednesday, a lawyer said a Detroit woman plans to sue Pugh, charging him with inappropriate behavior toward her son, a former student at Frederick Douglass Academy.

On Thursday, a member of Pugh's staff parked his city-owned car in the city hall lot. She refused to give her name or to say whether he was turning over the Crown Victoria to the city.

Orr is trying to get Detroit's finances into shape. He said Thursday he is shutting down the Public Lighting Department, which provides street lighting and electricity to a number of city institutions, and turning its functions over to DTE Energy.

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