Detroit City Council vacancy: Investigating the candidates

The trustee called them "luxury items."

No. 3 Fred Durhal, Jr. 

There's nothing in the city charter that says you have to be good with money - and that's good news for former state representative Durhal.

Durhal has been battling debt collectors for 20 years. When he filed for bankruptcy in 2005, Durhal revealed that he owed city, state and federal taxes dating back to 1993.

Somehow, he still managed to drive an expensive Cadillac.

Even after emerging from bankruptcy and earning a salary of more than $70,000 as a state representative - Durhal continued to have trouble with money.

In 2012, a lawyer said Durhal owed him $7,000 and a judge ordered him to pay.

No. 2 David Nathan

Like Durhal, Nathan is a former state representative  looking for work because of term limits.

Nathan is also well acquainted with the legal system - in 2011, a State House employee sued Nathan for firing him.

The worker said he took two weeks off to be with his wife and premature baby. He said he "returned from leave on April 1 and was fired that day."

The case was dismissed because state lawmakers are exempt from the family and medical leave act. 

Nathan said he didn't single the worker out, he says he fired his entire staff for poor performance.

In 2009, Nathan was sued for tens of thousands of dollars - and subsequently filed for bankruptcy.

That case went fairly smoothly, which is more than one can say for his wife's bankruptcy in 2006.

In that case, the bankruptcy trustee objected when she and Nathan deposited a check for $13,000 into an account.

The trustee said that amount to "knowingly and fraudulently" trying to cheat creditors. The Nathans eventually agreed to give $5,000 back.

If Nathan gets the city council gig, one hopes he goes to City Hall more often than he went to the state Capitol in Lansing. 

Only one of Michigan's 110 state reps missed more votes than Nathan during his final term. Nathan said he missed votes to care for a sick relative. 

Last -- and least -- is Campbell.

The year 2002 was a year he'd probably rather forget.

First, he was convicted in Florida of battery after he was arrested for assaulting a woman. 

The police report says he "struck her several times on the head and the face with the gun." The woman later filed an affidavit asking officials to drop the charges.

Campbell pleaded no contest and adjudication was withheld.  Before long, he was back in jail. 

After a feud with his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, police say Campbell "struck him with the front of his vehicle ... the man went up in the air, landed on his hood, and ended up on the pavement."

A jury found Campbell guilty of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Three of these candidates have something in common besides their tribulations and trials. Humphries, Durhal and Nathan were nominated by George Cushingberry. 

Come back Thursday for the next installment in Elrick's ongoing investigation. 

To learn more about each of the candidates listed in this report, click on their names in the story and their pictures to access their resumes and other documents they submitted to the city council.