Her fate could be announced today - News Coverage

Her fate could be announced today

The lawyer for Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh scheduled a news conference for Thursday as pressure mounted for her resignation following revelations she made more than $500,000 selling children’s books she authored to organizations doing business with the city. 

Lawyer Steven Silverman, speaking outside Pugh’s northwest Baltimore home Wednesday, said he would “be in a position to tell you what her intentions are moving forward.”

The Baltimore Sun reported that City Solicitor Andre Davis had provided Silverman with a draft resignation letter for Pugh. And Frances Draper, publisher and CEO of the city online news site AFRO, reported in an exclusive that Pugh said she would be resigning Thursday.

Pugh, whose term runs until December 2020, is on paid leave from the $185,000-per-year job.

At issue are the sales of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books to the University of Maryland Medical System, where Pugh was a member of the volunteer board of directors until resigning that post last month.

The medical system reportedly paid Pugh $500,000 for copies of the books while she served on its board, according to the Sun. The books are aimed at promoting exercise and good diet.

Health insurer Kaiser Permanente also bought books – at a time when the city spending board Pugh controls awarded the company a $48 million contract to provide health insurance to city employees, the Sun reported.

Pugh apologized for the book scandal in March but said she “never intended to do anything that could not stand up to scrutiny.” She called her deal with the medical system “a regrettable mistake.”

On April 1, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan directed the state prosecutor’s office to investigate Pugh’s financial dealings with the medical system. Last week, agents for the FBI and the IRS executed search warrants at the mayor’s homes and offices.

“Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “She is clearly not fit to lead. For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”

Contributing: Doug Stanglin

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