It has been a long road down for disgraced former Detroit City Councilman Charles Pugh. We initially liked Pugh when he ran for council. We took him at his word when he promised to usher in a new era of civility and professionalism on the council. But power seemed to bring out a petty and confrontational streak in him. Critics charged that, as council president, Pugh was responsible for violating open meetings laws, and he seemed eager to declare war over tiny slights any seasoned public official would brush off. In the end, he was undone by charges he offered to pay a Detroit Public Schools student intern for a sex tape. Pugh was hit with a $250,000 judgment, which will take some time to work off in his capacity as a restaurant manager in New York City. Finally, last year, his pre-recorded deposition over the teen sex scandal, Pugh offered a mealy mouthed apology: "I am embarrassed, and I am regretful for what happened." With good reason: Pugh has given homophobes a potent example of somebody who let his sexuality get in the way of professional conduct in dealing with children.
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