A look at George Cushingberry Jr.'s parking tickets and probate history
6:35 PM, Jan 14, 2014
2:42 PM, Jan 15, 2014
(WXYZ) - Caught in a lie: the 7 Action News Investigators dig deeper into City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry's recent traffic stop and his past.
When 7 Action News first learned that George Cushingberry, Jr. got stopped by Detroit cops, we wanted to know why, and we wanted to know more about his driving record.
That's when we learned the state had put a hold on his driver's license for unpaid parking tickets. Cushingberry told us that he'd paid those tickets weeks ago, but now we know that isn't true.
"I went down and paid the parking tickets over four weeks ago -- maybe six," said Detroit City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry, Jr. last Thursday, as he explained to 7 Action News why the Secretary of State had a hold on his driver's license from unpaid parking tickets.
Now the 7 Investigators have learned that Cushingberry's statement was not true.
Records we uncovered show the new Detroit City Council President Pro Tem has been racking up city parking tickets since 2002. As of last Thursday when he spoke to us, Cushingberry had not paid off his remaining $373 in fines.
7 Action News has confirmed, Cushingberry just paid those fines in Detroit Tuesday morning and the hold on his license has not been lifted yet.
Last week, the long-time politician was leaving a bar on Detroit's west side with a friend, when Detroit police pulled him over.
Despite having a passenger with medical marijuana in the car and an open empty liquor bottle in the vehicle, a Detroit Police sergeant only ticketed Cushingberry for failing to use a turn signal. An internal investigation is underway.
Meanwhile, the 7 Investigators are digging deeper into Cushingberry's history as a lawyer.
In 2000, Cushingberry was accused of mishandling the money in Wayne County probate cases and the court later barred him from being appointed to them.
At the same time, the Michigan Attorney General also terminated his job as a Public Administrator for probate cases in Wayne County.
The Attorney Discipline Board has also reprimanded Cushingberry twice. In 2002 they reprimanded him and ordered him to pay $117.94. In 2005, the ADB reprimanded Cushingberry again for failing to properly administer two probate estates. He was ordered to pay $3447.68.
"A reprimand is serious. It means there's been a finding that you have not fulfilled your responsibilities as a lawyer, and having two of them is certainly a concern," legal ethics expert Larry Dubin told 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.
Cushingberry is also facing possible discipline for another matter that's in front of the Attorney Discipline Board right now. That matter is likely to be decided this week. As far as the statement to us last week that he paid his Detroit parking tickets, we have reached out to Cushingberry and his lawyer, Todd Perkins.
Perkins says he can't speak to what his client told us last week about the parking tickets because he wasn't there, but says the parking tickets were paid Tuesday.