Daily Briefs

Michigan lawmakers to consider energy, driverless car bills

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Legislature’s “lame-duck” session is kicking into gear.

Lawmakers are taking up long-debated energy legislation Thursday and also bills governing driverless cars. House Republicans will also elect a new speaker because Kevin Cotter is leaving the Legislature under term limits.

Two days after the election, the Republican-led Senate is expected to vote on an update to 2008 energy laws. The business community is at odds over provisions related to a law that lets some companies and schools buy power from competitors to utilities DTE and Consumers Energy.

The House plans to pass bills no longer requiring that someone be inside a self-driving car while testing it on public roads. Backers say the measures would keep the U.S. auto industry’s home state ahead of the curve on rapidly advancing technology.


Ex-Detroit council president Charles Pugh gets prison in sex case

DETROIT (AP) — The former president of the Detroit City Council who turned to politics after working as a popular TV journalist was sentenced to at least 5-1/2 years in prison Wednesday for having sex with a teenage boy.

In court, Charles Pugh apologized to the victim, who was under 16 when they illegally engaged in sex acts in 2003 and 2004. He worked at WJBK-TV at the time.

“I was 31 years old. In many ways I was young and stupid,” Pugh told Wayne County Judge Thomas Cameron.

He said he had returned to his hometown and was enjoying “making all that money” and “having tens of thousands of people who believed in me.”

Pugh will be eligible for parole after 5-1/2 years. His maximum time in prison is 15 years.

Pugh was elected city council president in 2009 as Detroit’s top vote-getter. He suddenly quit in 2013 and mysteriously left for New York as allegations surfaced about sexual misconduct. Months later, a TV station found him working there as a waiter.

In a separate case, a jury last year ordered Pugh to pay $250,000 for sexually harassing a boy who turned to him as a school mentor during his time on the council. Pugh skipped the trial.


Restorative Justice: ‘An Inquiry into  Justice in America’

Join the Wayne Law Chapters of the National Lawyers Guild, Keith Students for Civil Rights and the Criminal Law Society for a book discussion with career prosecutor, Fred Van Lieu. It will be held from 12:15-1:20 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 at the Damon J. Keith Law Collection Room 2242, 471 W. Palmer in Detroit. Van Lieu recently authored “The Justice Diary: An Inquiry into Justice in America.” This conversation is open to all and focuses on Restorative Justice and change in our current criminal justice system. Lunch will be served. For more information about this event, please contact Madeline Sinkovich at or maddysink@gmail.com.