Ex-council president Charles Pugh confronted in New York about improper relationship with student
Pugh fled Detroit nearly one year ago
6:24 PM, May 5, 2014
3 hours ago
We found Charles Pugh! 7 Action News Investigator Ross Jones confronts the former Detroit City Council President in New York City.
DETROIT (WXYZ) – One year ago, Charles Pugh was one of Detroit’s most recognized politicians. Today, working at a restaurant in Harlem, he’s hoping for anonymity.
But on an early morning this weekend, 7 Action News found Pugh leaving his new job as a waiter. For nearly one year, he has avoided explaining his sudden and bizarre departure from the city, prompted by questions from 7 Action News Investigator Ross Jones.
Last year, Pugh lavished a high school student that he mentored in his leadership program with cash, gifts, clothing and a new cell phone. But according to police, he also “continuously pressured” the 18-year-old to send him graphic, sexual videos in exchange for hundreds of dollars.
“I wanna see your body. Front and back,” Pugh wrote in a text message. “So the video has to show everything.”
“I pay MORE for solos lol. $125 for solos and $150 if u shoot the vid over here lol,” said another text message.
7 Action News caught up with Pugh as he left his restaurant job.
“Paying a student you mentored for videos of him performing sex acts,” said Jones. “Is that typical of the Charles Pugh Leadership Forum?”
“First of all, I didn’t do that,” Pugh said. But later, when confronted with his own text messages, he changed his story.
“He offered to do it, okay?” Pugh said. “He’s an adult. I did not ask him to do that.”
But text messages show otherwise. According to records, Pugh continually asked the student to shoot the explicit videos and to follow his specific instructions. When the student resisted, Pugh reminded him of the money he could make.
“That’s alotta damn money…ain’t nobody ELSE gone give it to u,” he wrote.
Pugh showed virtually no remorse during a conversation with Jones that lasted 15 blocks.
“I’m not ashamed of myself,” Pugh insisted.