Baltimore Mayor Pugh resigns Amid Children's Book Scandal Worth Over $180,000

Catherine Pugh

Keith Palmer

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned after investigations into a scandal around her self-published children's books

Pugh, 69, resigned from her position as Baltimore mayor on May 2. FBI and IRS agents executed search warrants and raided her home as well as her City Hall office last week.

Pugh sold $500,000 in copies of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) while serving on its board. Pugh also sold 10,000 copies to Associated Black Charities for nearly $80,000 from 2011 and 2016.

NBC News reports that the FBI and IRS questioned how Pugh made hundreds of thousands of dollars from her self published book. Pugh did not disclose her board seat while she was mayor even as the city awarded contracts to UMMS. Ethics rules require elected officials to report such positions with entities that conduct business with the city.

Pugh resigned her position as a UMMS board member, canceled that deal, and returned the last $100,000 payment from it to UMMS.

The health insurance company Kaiser Permanente paid Pugh $114,000 for copies of her books from 2015 to 2018. In September 2017, the city’s spending board, which Pugh controls, awarded Kaiser a $48 million contract for insurance for city employees.

In a statement read by Pugh's attorney Steven Silverman at a Thursday afternoon press conference, Pugh announced she was stepping down, effective immediately, writing the following:

“Dear citizens of Baltimore, I would like to thank you for allowing me to serve as the 50th mayor, it has been an honor and a privilege. Today I am submitting my written resignation to the Baltimore City Council. I am sorry for the harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor.”

Jack Young is the current Interim Mayor, Young is the former City Council president.

In a statement Young said:

“Although I understand that this ordeal has caused real pain for many Baltimoreans, I promise that we will emerge from it more committed than ever to building a stronger Baltimore.”

Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon resigned in 2010 in the midst of perjury and embezzlement charges.


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