Baltimore Mayor Pugh Has A Bad Day
Baltimore Mayor Pugh Has A Bad Day
She’s been in hiding – oh, excuse me, on leave – for a while, but Mayor Catherine Pugh of Baltimore just had a very, very bad day, thanks to FBI and IRS agents.
Mayor Pugh, if you remember, went on leave after her shady kickback deals over her “Healthy Holly” children’s book series that no one read came to light. Since then, the Baltimore City Council asked her to resign. She didn’t.
And then this morning, FBI and IRS agents came knocking.
Among the locations being raided by the FBI in Baltimore:
+ City Hall
+ Two homes owned by Mayor Catherine Pugh
+ The Maryland Center for Adult Training
+The office of Pugh's attorney, Steven Silverman
+ Home of Pugh aide Gary Brown Jr. https://t.co/KpinYvK3cC
— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) April 25, 2019
Note that her attorney’s office is also being searched. That is not a small matter.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and the Baltimore City Council are all calling on Catherine Pugh to resign after these raids.
The FBI and the Internal Revenue Service conducted the raids on Pugh’s home and Baltimore City Hall amid allegations of improper financial dealings with the University of Maryland Medical System, Governor Larry Hogan said on Twitter.”
“Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead. For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign,” Hogan wrote.”
City Councilman Brandon Scott also called for Pugh’s resignation, saying in a statement: “Baltimore needs to move forward and heal from this embarrassment.” The Baltimore City Council previously called for her resignation earlier this month.”
And while the mayor apparently can’t be forced out of office while she’s on a leave of absence (really?), the interim mayor seems to be clearing out her office.
Three of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s aides were fired earlier this week, as her leave of absence continues.”
Acting Mayor Jack Young has not said why those three aides were fired, or why four others have been put on leave, while their boss is indefinitely out of office.”
“We can’t speak to personnel decisions, but I can tell you that I’ve made a decision of three people who will no longer be in the mayor’s office,” the acting mayor said.”
Acting Mayor Young has stayed tight-lipped on why he’s been shifting Pugh’s staffers.”
But a spokesperson confirmed to our media partner the Baltimore Sun that one of the now terminated employees Gary Brown Jr., worked in the city’s lobbying office.”
Mayor Pugh stood by Brown in 2017, allowing him to keep his City Hall job after he pled guilty to a campaign finance crime tied to her 2016 mayoral campaign.”
Wednesday, four of her other staffers remain on paid administrative leave as she enters her 24th day out of office.”
Pugh is battling an extended bout of pneumonia that coincides with the controversy surrounding her sale of children’s book to the University of Maryland Medical System while serving on its board.”
City Solicitor Andre Davis said the city charter does not put a cap on a mayoral leave of absence.”
“The charter is utterly silent on how long a leave can last, the reasons for a leave. There’s just nothing in the charter to address that,” Davis said.”
And yes, one of those fired aides, Gary Brown, Jr., was on the list of raided locations this morning.
The muck in Baltimore runs deep, but Catherine Pugh seems determined to hang on until the last second to the mayor’s office. I expect nothing short of federal charges is going to oust her from office at this point.
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Featured image: Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (screenshot via CBS News on YouTube)