Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Resigns Amid Children’s Book Investigation

Embattled Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh officially resigned on May 2 amid a growing scandal involving the sales of her self-published children’s book series. Pugh’s resignation is effective immediately. Attorney Steven Silverman announced Pugh’s resignation at a news conference on May 2, the Baltimore Sun reported. Silverman read a statement from the 69-year-old Democrat in which she apologized for the harm she caused to the city’s image.

“Dear citizens of Baltimore, I would like to thank you for allowing me to serve as the 50th mayor. It has been an honor and privilege,” Pugh said in the statement. “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.”

In her resignation letter to City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Pugh said that in the “best interest” of the people and government of Baltimore, her resignation is effective immediately. “I am confident that I have left the City in capable hands for the duration of the term to which I was elected,” she concluded. Young automatically becomes the city’s 51st mayor following Pugh’s resignation. According to WBAL-TV, no formal swearing-in is required, and Young’s City Council president position is now open.

“I was informed today at 3:35 p.m. by City Solicitor Andre Davis of Catherine Pugh’s resignation as mayor of Baltimore,” Young said in a statement, according to WBAL-TV. “The resignation is effective immediately. I believe this action is in the best interest of the city of Baltimore.”

Young said that he has spent the last month traveling around the city to continue the government’s focus “on providing essential services to our citizens.” He said that he will continue to work “diligently” to address any concerns by Baltimore’s residents.

“Although I understand that this ordeal has caused real pain for many Baltimoreans, I promise that we will emerge from it more committed than ever to building a stronger Baltimore,” Young said in his statement. “Charm City is wonderful and is full of resilient people who are working hard every day to move our city forward. You all deserve recognition, and I will spend my time as mayor working alongside you.”

Pugh’s resignation comes a week after agents with the FBI and IRS executed search warrants at her homes, City Hall offices, and other locations. She was plunged into a scandal when it was revealed that her self-published children’s books had been purchased by businesses that have dealings with the city. Earlier in April, the Baltimore City Council called on Pugh to resign in a two-sentence letter. The letter was signed by 14 City Council members, not including Young, who had been serving as the “ex officio Mayor of Baltimore City.”

Pugh’s office responded to the letter and said she took a leave of absence for health reasons and claimed she “fully intends” to resume her post as mayor. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan requested an investigation into the sales of Pugh’s Healthy Holly children’s books. Pugh was reportedly paid $500,000 by the University of Maryland Medical System in 2011 when she was a state Senator serving on a committee that funded the hospital network. She also received $100,000 by Kaiser Permanente and $80,000 by Associated Black Charities. Pugh was elected as Baltimore’s mayor in 2016 and was due to finish out her term in 2020.

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.