Attorney: Pugh drops appeal, begins paying in sex case

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Disgraced former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh has begun paying part of a $250,000 court-ordered judgment to a former Detroit Public Schools student who accused Pugh of offering cash for oral sex.

Attorney Bill Seikaly, who represented the student in a civil case against Pugh, confirmed to The Detroit News on Tuesday that Pugh abandoned his appeal of a court order that he pay the student.

In November, a federal jury in Detroit found Pugh responsible for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress in a civil case brought by the student, who said Pugh also offered him money in exchange for a sex video while in in Pugh’s mentorship program at DPS.

As part of the case, the federal court jury had ordered Pugh to pay the victim $250,000. Pugh appealed the judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals in January.

“Charles has abandoned his appeal, which in our opinion stood little chance of prevailing, and has begun paying his obligation to the plaintiff,” Seikaly said. “We are obviously pleased we will not have to address the issues on appeal.

“As far as we are concerned, this is the first step Pugh had taken to accept responsibility for his wrongdoing.”

The specific payment amounts, terms of the agreement and other details are part of a private settlement agreement, Seikaly said, refusing to disclose how much Pugh has paid.

Pugh’s attorney, Marc Deldin, was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

DPS, which settled with the victim for $350,000, has until October to pay him, Seikaly said. “If they don’t pay, we will seek collection from the EM manager.”

In December, U.S. District Judge David Lawson ordered Pugh to pay the student after Pugh had argued in an earlier court filing that he did not have to pay his victim because DPS agreed to settle with the former high school student for $350,000.

The young man, now 20, met Pugh in the Charles Pugh Leadership Academy program at DPS in 2012 when he was 17 and Pugh was council president.

In February, Seikaly attempted to get Pugh to pay on the judgment by serving public notice of the debt in New York, where Pugh lives and reportedly works in Manhattan as a waiter.

Pugh was a news anchor at WJBK-TV (Channel 2) in Detroit before he won the seat of City Council president in 2009.