Neighbors: Cushingberry gutted, abandoned his Detroit home

Neighbors: Cushingberry gutted, abandoned his Detroit home after winning the election

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Cushingberry's home on Marygrove Cushingberry's home on Marygrove
(WJBK) -

Welcome to Casa De Cushingberry: The 3,500 square foot house on the 8,000 block of Marygrove has been vacant for months. The side is missing and vandals have tried to break in.

"The house is a mess. It's nothing in there. It's a shell," Herbert Russell, Cushingberry's neighbor and Marygrove block club president. "There's no countertops; there's no sinks; there's no toilets."

He says the City Council President Pro Tem moved out after winning the election and took everything with him.

"If we get a resident now, they'd have to replace everything in this house. That's part of the problem, not solving it," says Russell.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch a report from Fox 2's Randy Wimbley

Turns out, Cushingberry lost this house after he went bankrupt in 2011. He owned property in Detroit, Lansing and Florida and was more than a half million dollars in debt.

"I'm just amazed that somebody who worked in the state house, and was a county commissioner and had his hands on millions and missions of dollars in the budget, and couldn't handle his own money and managed to get in $530,000 into debt. I just -- it's perplexing," says Steven Neavling from Motor City Muckraker. Neavling obtained the bankruptcy records.

Fox 2 tried to contact Cushingberry several times to find out what's going on with the house on Marygrove. We went to his office and were told he was unavailable. As for his old digs, Herbert put a steel pipe behind the door to keep squatters from getting in another abandoned home in Detroit.

"To win the election and just up and move? There's something funny about that. And then to strip the house and move, you know, you say you're a city councilmember, you're a person that's upholding the law and trying to make the city better, I don't see how you're making the city better," says Russell.

Cushingberry made news last week when it was discovered he was ticketed and released after an open alcoholic beverage container and marijuana were discovered inside his vehicle during a traffic stop on January 7, 2014. Cushingberry admits a strong smell of marijuana was present, but he attributes it to the second passenger in the vehicle who has a medical marijuana card. He also says an empty rum bottle was from an old party.

Cushingberry, who is black, believes he was a victim of racial profiling when police stopped him. Police Chief James Craig says one of the officers was black. Craig has ordered an internal investigation of the actions of a police supervisor who released Cushingberry, who was issued a ticket for failing to use a turn signal. The city's inspector general is also investigating Cushingberry's conduct.

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