Baltimore’s Democrat mayor Catherine Pugh has released a series of self-published children’s books. That would be fine on its own, but she accepted a large payment connected to the sale of her books from a company which was trying to get a contract providing healthcare plans to city employees.
That’s an obvious conflict of interests.
The Associated Press reports:
Baltimore councilman calls on mayor to resign
The Latest on revelations about Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s lucrative deals to sell her self-published children’s books (all times local):
At least one Baltimore City Council member is calling for Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign as a scandal intensifies over allegations of “self-dealing” arrangements to sell her children’s book series.
Councilman Zeke Cohen says Pugh has “lost the moral mandate to govern and the public’s trust.” Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has also urged her to resign. Cohen, Franchot and Pugh are Democrats.
Cohen notes that Pugh accepted over $100,000 from Kaiser Permanente for her “Healthy Holly” children’s books while the company was seeking a contract to provide health benefits to city employees.
Cohen says that instead of recusing herself from a Board of Estimates vote when the contract came up “she voted in favor of it.”
Pugh announced Monday she is taking an indefinite leave of absence due to deteriorating health. Her spokespeople say she was recently diagnosed with pneumonia.
This is a garden variety case of an elected leader using their position for financial gain, at least that’s the way it looks.
The Baltimore Sun has more:
Baltimore Mayor Pugh to take leave of absence in midst of ‘Healthy Holly’ book controversy
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, facing a call by Gov. Larry Hogan for a criminal investigation into the book deal that paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars, announced Monday that she will take an indefinite leave of absence because of her health.
The Democratic mayor’s office issued a statement Monday saying she had been advised by her doctors to take time to recover from a bout of pneumonia that hospitalized her for five days last week…
City Solicitor Andre Davis confirmed Pugh’s leave is to start at midnight and that the mayor will continue to be paid her $185,000 annual salary.
Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, also a Democrat, will take over temporarily as mayor. Young said in an interview that he was “heartbroken” by the mayor’s deteriorating health and that his first aim was to ensure stability in the city he will now lead.
She gets to continue collecting her salary? Well isn’t that just shocking.