Mayor Catherine Pugh, a Democrat and the 50th mayor of Baltimore, took office in 2016 and has faced public scrutiny for months over her Healthy Holly self-published children’s book series. Despite the public’s demand, she was unable to account for hundreds of dollars that she had earned from the series. Many grew suspicious upon the disclosure that her first book deal was made with the University of Maryland Medical System, where she was a member of the hospital board. She originally deemed any suspicion regarding her business deals a “witch hunt.” However, she had already lost the trust of Baltimore citizens. She publicly resigned on Thursday, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Pugh did not show up for the news conference that was intended to announce her departure, as she has been ill. She has been hiding out in her home in Ashburton where she is recovering from pneumonia which she has been struggling with since March. However, she filled out a written form of resignation that was read by her lawyer, Steven Silverman, in downtown Baltimore.
Baltimore’s mayor resigned. She was under fire for selling $500,000 worth of her children’s books to a state hospital network while on its board. https://t.co/E3AOOGboMg— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 2, 2019
“This is a sad day for Mayor Pugh and a sad day for the city of Baltimore,” Silverman said prior to reading 69-year-old Pugh’s statement.
Pugh’s letter of resignation was short, to the point, and included an apology.
“I’m 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. Baltimore deserves a mayor who can move our great city forward.”
The FBI has already raided Pugh’s house in search of further information about her questionable book dealings. As she continued to look increasingly guilty and had run out of ways to cover her tracks, the former mayor publicly admitted that 40,000 of the Healthy Holly books the University of Maryland Medical System paid for were never actually produced.
Bishop Douglas Miles, pastor of the Koinonia Baptist Church in Baltimore, spoke out about the downfall of Pugh and encouraged Baltimore citizens to stop looking for a political figure to become their savior. Not only did Pugh lose her job, but the political reputation she spent years building has also fallen apart.
“It is never a joyful moment to see a person fall into disgrace and I wish her well as she goes forward. We can no longer look for a super person out of the political arena to come save us. We must save ourselves.”