Baltimore Mayor Resigns Amid Growing Financial Scandal, Federal Probe

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigns amid book scandal

Baltimore Mayor Resigns Amid Growing Financial Scandal, Federal Probe

In a letter to Jack Young, president of the Baltimore City Council, Pugh wrote, "In the best interest of the people and government of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, I am writing to attest that, effective immediately, I hereby resign from the Office of Mayor, to which I was duly elected on November 8, 2016".

Steve Silverman went inside Pugh's home in west Baltimore Wednesday, then came out and told reporters: "I just met with the mayor".

He said he would hold a press conference at his office in downtown Baltimore but declined to say whether the mayor would be resigning or whether she would even be present. Pugh, who has been on medical leave and cloistered at her home since April 1, did not attend.

UMMS is a private nonprofit for which Pugh served as a board member until mid-March when she resigned from the position.

Pugh's defiant pledge last month to return to work gave way after federal agents raided her home and City Hall office a week ago. According to the Sun, Pugh submitted her resignation Thursday.

She is the second Baltimore mayor in the past decade to leave office while facing allegations of corruption. Young, a Democrat and longtime City Council member, is now in Detroit for a conference about economic development and will return to Baltimore over the weekend.

Pugh, once seen as a cleaner option in a city with a history of wrongdoing by politicians, was ultimately overtaken by the public outcry over hundreds of thousands of dollars in deals for her "Healthy Holly" books.

Pugh's shady financial practices date back to years before her time as mayor, but as the sources of revenue from her book sales became known in early 2019, the evidence of her misdeeds became impossible to ignore.

Kaiser Permanente, another health provider, later revealed it paid over $100,000 for 20,000 copies of the books while it was negotiating a contract to become the medical insurance provider for Baltimore city employees. But in the process of apologizing she disclosed that some 40,000 books UMMS had paid for were never produced.

At issue is how Pugh handled the sales of the Healthy Holly books, about a young black girl who promotes the benefits of nutrition and exercise. IRS agents also were part of the raid.

"This was the right decision, as it was clear the mayor could no longer lead effectively", Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.

Maryland's Office of State Prosecutor and the city's ethics board have launched probes into whether any laws or ethics rules have been violated.

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