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Home / US / Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh takes indefinite leave of absence amid book controversy

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh takes indefinite leave of absence amid book controversy



Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced on Monday that she was taking an indefinite leave from office after she received $ 500,000 from the University of Maryland a "self-dealing" book sale.

Pugh's office in a statement said Mayor, a Democrat, has been "advised by her physicians that she needs to take time to recover and focus on her health," and she said

City Council President Jack Young wants to take over Pugh's day-to-day responsibilities, according to the statement. [1

9659005] BALTIMORE MAYOR'S $ 500G DEAL FOR 'HEALTHY HOLLY' CHILDREN'S BOOKS DRAWS SCRUTINY

In a letter released earlier Monday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, called on the state prosecutor to investigate allegations of self-dealing by Pugh. State Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, urged the mayor to step down immediately.

Hogan and Franchot's calls came to the office after health care firm Pugh's self-published "Healthy Holly" children's book series.

Since 2011, Pugh has received $ 500,000 for the University of Maryland Medical Systems (UMMS), The Associated Press reported. Pugh, who sat on the system's board since 2001, became Baltimore's mayor in 2016.

Pugh, who was on the system's board since 2001, became a member of the $ 4 billion hospital network, one of the largest private employers in the state. The next year, Baltimore's spending board, which was awarded a $ 48 million contract to the Kaiser Foundation's Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc. Kaiser previously held that contract.

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Kaiser Permanente spokesman Scott Lusk told the AP his company "purchased the books from Healthy Holly, LLC" – Pugh's firm,

Additionally, The Sun reported that CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, another city health provider, effectively bought Pug h's roughly 20-page illustrated books for $ 14,500 in 2011 and 2014. In an email, CareFirst said it made contributions to Associated Black Charities, a nonprofit that manages the city's Children and Youth Fund, to fund its purchase and distribution of books. [19659005] CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The firm said it produced 60,000 copies and did not receive any orders from Pugh.

Pugh, at a news conference last week, described the book deal with the university-based health care system as a " regrettable mistake, "and apologized for" any lack of confidence or disappointment "may have felt.

Fox News' Brie Stimson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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