Baltimore Mayor Takes Leave Of Absence With Scandal Brewing

Baltimore Mayor Takes Leave Of Absence With Scandal Brewing

Baltimore Mayor Takes Leave Of Absence With Scandal Brewing

Move aside, Chicago. Baltimore is trying to give you a run for your money in both crime and corruption.

Behold the story of aspiring children’s author and Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh. She decided to write a series of children’s books, her central character being a young girl she dubbed “Healthy Holly.”

And then the mayor sold a ton of books to the University of Maryland Medical System for a tidy $100,000 profit. Why, who sits on the board of said University of Maryland Medical System? Gold star if you guessed… Mayor Catherine Pugh! For a children’s book on health!

So, Catherine Pugh created a children’s book, then sold thousands of copies to UMMS (which they can’t account for) where she happens to be on the board, and then walked away with a tidy profit? Oh, and didn’t pay the illustrator?

But the mayor insisted that this was a “witch hunt,” and then resigned her position on the board.

Pugh declined to provide copies of her personal and business tax records related to the $500,000 she has received from the medical system for 100,000 books since 2011, a period that includes her time as a state senator and as mayor.”

She said she returned the most recent $100,000 she received from the medical system since resigning from its board Monday amid questions about the deal. The first-term Democrat also said she understood the concerns state lawmakers have about business deals between UMMS and its board members.”

Two other board members who have had business relationships with UMMS — John W. Dillon and Robert L. Pevenstein — resigned Tuesday and four others with contracts were placed on leave.”

“All my income is reported to the IRS and everything is filed,” Pugh said in a telephone interview with The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t know what witch hunt y’all are on, but it’s done. I’ve got 1099s and I pay my taxes and everything is filed.”

The CEO was put on leave, and now Mayor Catherine Pugh herself is on leave.

Baltimore’s mayor is taking an indefinite leave of absence as a political scandal about “self-dealing” book sales intensifies.”

In a Monday statement, Pugh’s office says she has been “advised by her physicians that she needs to take time to recover and focus on her health.” It says she feels as though she is unable to fulfill her obligations as mayor due to deteriorating health.”

Her announcement comes shortly after Maryland’s governor called on the state prosecutor to investigate allegations against Pugh and Maryland’s comptroller called on her to resign.”

The City Council president will take over Pugh’s day-to-day responsibilities.

The official word that the mayor’s office is putting out is that she has pneumonia. Sure. I’m sure the stress of having a financial scandal at your doorstep is inhibiting your ability to recover properly, too.

At least one Baltimore City Council member is calling for Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign as a scandal intensifies over allegations of “self-dealing” arrangements to sell her children’s book series.”

Councilman Zeke Cohen says Pugh has “lost the moral mandate to govern and the public’s trust.” Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has also urged her to resign. Cohen, Franchot and Pugh are Democrats.”

Cohen notes that Pugh accepted over $100,000 from Kaiser Permanente for her “Healthy Holly” children’s books while the company was seeking a contract to provide health benefits to city employees.”

Cohen says that instead of recusing herself from a Board of Estimates vote when the contract came up “she voted in favor of it.”

Pugh announced Monday she is taking an indefinite leave of absence due to deteriorating health. Her spokespeople say she was recently diagnosed with pneumonia.”

Good job, Baltimore! Chicago thanks you for taking a bit of the heat off them post-Jussie Smollett. Talk about a huge mess, if the CEO is on leave, multiple board members have resigned or been put on leave because they ALSO have contracts with UMMS, and Catherine Pugh manipulated her illustrator into working for free while she took a nice paycheck.

Something stinks in Baltimore, indeed.

Featured image: Baltimore skyline and harbor via Pixabay, Pixabay license free for commerical use

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  • Robin H says:

    Does she really think there’s no scandal because she paid taxes on her income?? Is she that stupid or does she think the people of Baltimore are that stupid?

  • GWB says:

    How the heck do you take a leave of absence as mayor of a medium-sized city? If the city council can take over for her, then I wonder if there’s an adequate separation of powers, or maybe they shouldn’t bother with a mayor at all?

    And, yeah, the “for my health” excuse is classic. If she comes out and says “I need to focus on my family” or something similar, know she’s resigning and there’s something even bigger under this scandal.

    • Scott says:

      Seems like she’s a good follow-on to the bimbo that told the police to “give them room to riot”.. Sad thing is, the “people” of Baltimore keep voting for this kind of shit.. and what they get is honestly pretty accurate representation for them.. just like mos third world shitholes…

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