LeDuff: Pugh's campaign finance statement raises questions - New York News

LeDuff: Charles Pugh's campaign finance statement raises questions

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Where is Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh? The authorities want to talk to him about his curious relationship with an 18-year-old high school student, but curiously instead of asking questions about Pugh's finances, some media outlets have attacked the family's finances. I've got some questions for Pugh starting with his campaign fund.

Remember we courted Pugh in his office in November 2011. We asked him about some odd ATM transactions with his campaign fund. We also asked him why he hadn't filed a campaign statement in nearly two years. He blamed it all on someone else who was living in D.C. at the time someone was making withdrawals in Ferndale.

"First of all, our finance director had this card. These are not withdrawals. I didn't have access to this card," Pugh said.

"So someone else was pulling it?" I asked.

"Our finance director and our campaign manager," Pugh said.

"Because they're like getting clothes and stuff," I said.

"Which is not proper," Pugh said.

So lo and behold, Pugh has finally filed the paperwork, and guess who is the treasurer on his campaign. Charles Pugh, that's who.

Now if Pugh doesn't have the receipts and the campaign manager says she didn't have the receipts, how did Pugh file the campaign finance statement? We're going to want to see those when you get back to town, and we're also going to want to know about stuff you left off.

I noticed an ATM withdrawal from February 5, 2010 for $200. I remembered that was the evening Pugh said he cracked up his city-owned Crown Victoria.

"Let's get this clear now. What happened? That's the taxpayer's car. What date was it, and what were you doing?" I asked Pugh back in 2011.

"The day I crashed the car..." Pugh said before I interrupted.

"What date was it? Was it the fifth like you told the police or the fourth like you told the city?" I asked. "Just to get a story straight about public property."

"There's a discrepancy, right? There's a discrepancy, and you don't know why," I further said.

"No, I don't," Pugh said.

There are lots of curious things in this campaign finance statement like a stay at the Marriott in Washington D.C. just six block from the White House. The problem is there is no Marriott six blocks from the White House like Pugh's financial statement claims, and a desk clerk at another D.C. Mariott laughed at me when I asked if they had a room for just $49.69. Not even with a coupon, she snickered.

Political adviser Adolph Mongo strongly advised that Pugh, who has been missing for over two weeks, just stay missing.

"As long as Charles Pugh is in the limelight, that takes away from what's happening with the other part of the city problems. So Charles Pugh just [needs] to say, okay, here's my resignation, and we can move on," he said.

So when you get back Mr. Pugh, not only do we have questions about you and the relationship with an 18-year-old kid, we have questions about your campaign finance statement.

You remember the last guy that played funny with his campaign money. It didn't work out too good for Kwame Kilpatrick.

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