EM says medical leave not an option for Charles Pugh, must return to work or resign

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr says medical leave is not an option for Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh. He says Pugh must return to work or resign by Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh, whose absence has been notable at recent council meetings, sent Orr a letter notifying him that his doctor ordered a 3 to 4-week medical leave.

Orr says the City Charter does not have a provision for a leave, nor does the Emergency Manager law.  Orr can cut pay and authority of elected officials but he can not remove them from office. 

Pugh's disappearance from public view comes at the same time of other high-profile council departures. Councilman Kwame Kenyatta resigned on Friday and Gary Brown is expected to resign to take a new job with the Emergency Financial Manager. 

The normally vocal Pugh also recently deactivated his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Pugh had an interview scheduled with Channel 7 Tuesday, but abruptly canceled it.

Meantime, Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem Gary Brown said he would make his decision on resigning from the City Council by Tuesday afternoon, but made no announcement. It is now expected on Wednesday. 

Sources have said Brown accepted a new job as Chief Restructuring Officer with the Emergency Manager and is set to start the job next week. 

Brown says he plans on being at the City Council meeting Wednesday morning. 

If both Pugh and Brown leave, council members would have to pick new leaders. Council Member Kwame Kenyatta resigned on Friday, so the council could have three of the nine seats vacant.

Would those also need to be filled to finish those terms to December? This is an election year for the City Council. 7 Action News will stay on top of these developments. 

BELOW: View a letter from Charles Pugh to Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr explaining his absence

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