Baltimore Mayor Takes Indefinite Leave of Absence
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pughannounced Monday that she would be taking an indefinite leave of absence due to a bout of pneumonia that hospitalized her for five days last week. However, the maybe-permanent hiatus comes as she is facing a call by Republican Governor Larry Hogan for a criminal investigation into a book deal worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hogan called on the state prosecutor to investigate allegations against Pugh saying allegations about her self funding a book she wrote are "deeply disturbing." The governor says he's particularly concerned about a $500,000 sale to a university-based health care system "because it has significant continuing ties with the State and receives very substantial public funding." The University of Maryland Medical System paid $100,000 in each of five transactions in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2018 to purchase 20,000 copies of Pugh’s self-published books at $5 per book while she served on its Board. Also on Monday, Kaiser Permanente disclosed that it paid $114,000, between 2015 and 2018, for roughly 20,000 copies of Pugh's self-published Healthy Holly illustrated paperbacks for children. Those purchases came during a period when the health provider sought a city contract. Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, also a Democrat, will take over temporarily as Mayor. Pugh will continue to be paid her $185,000 annual salary. More here.