Baltimore mayor resigns amid scandal over self-published books

  03 May 2019    Read: 1115
Baltimore mayor resigns amid scandal over self-published books

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has resigned, effective immediately, amid a scandal involving her self-published children’s books.

Ms Pugh apologised in her resignation letter, saying she was “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.”

The decision comes exactly one week after FBI and IRS agents raided the mayor’s home and City Hall offices. At issue is the roughly $800,000 (£613,760) Ms Pugh received through the years from a hospital network and insurance carriers that did business with the city and a financier for bulk copies of her Healthy Holly children’s books.

“In the best interest of the people and government of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, I am writing to attest that, effective immediately, I hereby resign from Office of Mayor, to which I was duly elected on November 8, 2016,” she wrote in her letter to the president of the city council. 

“I am confident that I have left the city in capable hands for the duration of the term to which I was elected,” she added.

Maryland’s Republican governor and the chairwoman of the state’s Democratic party said she made the right decision to resign and that by stepping down she will allow the city to move forward.

In a statement, Governor Larry Hogan said that “it was clear the mayor could no longer lead effectively.”

Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings said the resignation “affords Baltimore the opportunity to address its challenges with courage and optimism.”

Mr Hogan said state and federal investigations into the lucrative sales of Ms Pugh’s self-published children’s books “will continue to uncover the facts.”

City Council member Brandon Scott said the mayor’s resignation marked a “day of relief and accountability” for Baltimore.

The mayor had been in self-imposed seclusion for a month with what attorney Steven Silverman said was “deteriorating health” after a bout of pneumonia. Mr Silverman said she was too ill to make any decisions about her future, even as the governor and the state and city’s other top leaders said her career was effectively finished.


The Independent

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