Catherine Pugh, the mayor of Baltimore has finally resigned after a recent controversy about her questionable book deals was discovered. The Baltimore Board of Ethics claims the former mayor acted unethically in securing a book deal with University of Maryland Medical System while she was on its board of directors.
Pugh, who initially took an indefinite leave of absence last month apparently to recover from pneumonia, has filed her letter of resignation last Thursday, effective immediately. Her lawyer, Steven Silverman, announced the resignation on her behalf as she did not appear on the new conference for her resignation.
“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. Baltimore deserves a mayor who can move our great city forward,” Pugh wrote in her resignation statement.
Several city and state authorities have been calling for her resignation after concerns over conflicts of interests emerged from scandals involving her. Healthy Holly LLC, a book company reportedly owned by Pugh, has allegedly been used in several questionable activities. The company is said to have received nearly $80,000 from several organizations who bought her books through the Associated Black Charities.
Moreover, Pugh admitted that she sold 100,000 copies of her self-published children’s book series Healthy Holly to the University of Maryland Medical System for $500,000 while she sat as one of its board of directors – a position she had held since 2011. That information should have been disclosed in her city ethics forms, but Pugh failed to do so.
“I am particularly concerned about the UMMS sale because it has significant continuing ties with the state and receives very substantial public funding,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said.
Meanwhile, City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young now serves as the city’s mayor, with no immediate formal swearing-in required.