Reports state that Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh made over $500,000 by selling her children’s book series “The Healthy Holly.”
She reportedly received $500,000 from the University of Maryland Medical System, where she had worked as a board member before receiving the payment, The Sun reported. Pugh also received $114,000 from health giant Kaiser Permanente for 20,000 copies of the book.
The Mayor was apparently doing business while still employed by the city and was subsequently forced to resign. In her statement, she wrote, "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."
Her statement, read by her lawyer Steve Silverman, also added "Baltimore deserves a mayor who can move our great city forward."
According to Police, Pugh was under investigation for "self-dealing." In fact, other reports claim that the Baltimore Mayor saved her city when she decided to resign after her book-selling deals.
The Democrat, who became Baltimore Mayor in 2016, had recently been recovering from a “serious illness” which led to her hospitalization several times this year. Pugh was on paid leave of absence due to her health issues when the investigations were carried out. Her resignation was announced at an afternoon news conference.
Baltimore City Council President, Bernard Young, has been her interim replacement since April 2nd. However, he asserted that the position was temporary.
The Healthy Holly book promotes exercise, good diet and provides nutrition tips by using a young black girl’s story.
In order to provide health insurance to city employees, the city’s spending board awarded the company a $48 million dollar contract, The Sun also reported.
Even though Pugh’s office had previously announced that Pugh "fully intends to resume the duties of her office," FBI and IRS agents raided Pugh’s house and office and searched through her documents to establish her financial connection with the medical system. As a result, agents seized Pugh’s paperwork and records.
"Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead," Maryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said after the investigation, requesting her to step down from the office.
Later on, Pugh’s attorney Steve Silverman said federal agents were looking for "original financial records belonging to Mayor Catherine Pugh." Pugh's lawyers also stated that the agents had raided their offices in search of the records and documents.
According to Pugh's lawyers, she was unable to decide if resigning was an option at the moment because she was "becoming lucid" from her illness.