Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced on Monday that she’s taking an indefinite leave of absence from office after it was revealed she received $500,000 from the University of Maryland Medical System in critics have called a “self-dealing” book sale.
Pugh’s office in a statement said the mayor, a Democrat, has been “advised by her physicians that she needs to take time to recover and focus on her health,” and said she felt as though she was unable to fulfill her obligations as mayor due to deteriorating health brought on by a recent case of pneumonia.
In a letter released earlier Monday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, called on the state prosecutor to investigate allegations of self-dealing by Pugh. State Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, urged the mayor to step down immediately.
Hogan and Franchot’s calls came hours after health care firm Kaiser Permanente disclosed to The Baltimore Sun that between 2015 and 2018, it paid $114,000 for roughly 20,000 copies of Pugh’s self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s book series.
Since 2011, Pugh has received $500,000 for selling the books to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), The Associated Press reported. The $4 billion hospital network, one of the largest private employers in the state, reportedly paid Pugh for 100,000 copies of her books between 2011 and 2018.
Pugh, who sat on the system’s board since 2001, became Baltimore’s mayor in 2016. The next year, Baltimore’s spending board, which is controlled by the mayor, awarded a $48 million contract to the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. Kaiser previously held that contract.
(ARTICLE: FOX NEWS)
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Baltimore Mayor Pugh to take leave of absence in midst of ‘Healthy Holly’ book controversy
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh takes indefinite leave of absence amid book controversy
Facing calls to resign, Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh takes leave amid ‘Healthy Holly’ book scandal
Baltimore mayor’s $500G deal for ‘Healthy Holly’ children’s books draws scrutiny
Kaiser Permanente, Associated Black Charities paid Baltimore Mayor Pugh almost $200K for ‘Healthy Holly’ books
Coverage of University of Maryland Medical System board deals and Mayor Pugh’s ‘Healthy Holly’ books
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Author: Anthony Brian Logan