Kevyn Orr Explains Charles Pugh Decision On 'MiWeek'

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, on Detroit Public Television's "MiWeek," explained his decision to strip City Councilman Charles Pugh of his salary last week after Pugh's unexplained absences and request for medical leave.

"Mr. Pugh is a leader," said Orr. "He's president of the council. His conduct should be exemplary, as an example to other employees. Going missing in action at a critical time in the city's development on council, I felt was inappropriate.

"What I say was: 'You need to come back to council. If there's a reason you need to take time off, then explain that reason.' I'm not a public relations specialist.

"But more important than that, Mr. Pugh had sent me a memo asking me to approve medical leave. There's nothing under the charter or under my statute for me to approve medical leave. And I didn't want to get drawn into a situation where someone would say the emergency manager approved whatever was going on.

"So I said: 'Look I'm not in a position and don't have authority to approve it. You need to come back and work your job. If you can't do that, then you shouldn't be in a leadership position on council'."

The full "MiWeek" program airs on Detroit Public Television Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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