Last week, Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh took an indefinite leave of absence amidst growing book controversy and scandal. According to her spokesman, she took the indefinite leave to recover from a pneumonia attack and will return to work once her health improves. This week, she has been asked to resign from office by the Baltimore City Council.
Earlier today, the 14-member Baltimore City Council sent in a two-sentence letter asking the mayor to resign with immediate effect. The only signature missing from the directive letter was that of Bernard C. “Jack” Young.
The letter read:
“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore for you to continue to serve as Mayor. “We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”
Copies of the letter were also forwarded to all the city’s senators, delegates in the Maryland General Assembly, the deputy mayor, Pugh’s chief of staff Bruce Williams, and City Solicitor Andre Davis.
Catherine Pugh is currently being investigated after reports of receiving $500,000 from the University of Maryland Medical System for “Healthy Holly,” a children’s book series she self-published.
The $500,000 was the university’s payment for 100,000 copies of her book between 2011 and 2018 while she was a member of the university’s board. The books were intended to be supplied to daycare centers and schools, but about 50,000 copies are still unaccounted for. There are already speculations of the possibility that they were never printed at all.
Last week at a press conference, Pugh had described the book deal as a regrettable mistake and apologized for any disappointment or lack of confidence that might have arisen from it. She currently hasn’t made any comment on the City council’s letter calling for her resignation.