The Baltimore mayor resigned Thursday amid corruption allegations tied to her self-published series of children’s books.
An attorney for Catherine Pugh read a written statement from the mayor to reporters Thursday, in which she said, “I am 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.”
Pugh has not been seen in public since April 1, taking a leave of absence after suffering from pneumonia.
Her resignation comes a week after the FBI and tax agents raided her home, City Hall office and a third location.
Pugh is accused of ethics violations after the University of Maryland Medical System paid her $500,000 for thousands of copies of her books for children about the adventures of a character called Healthy Holly.
The books were supposed to be sent to schools and day care centers, but hardly anyone has seen copies of it.
Before becoming mayor in 2016, Pugh served on the medical system’s board and had a seat on a Maryland State Senate panel that funded the system.
She called the book deal a “regrettable mistake.”
While she was mayor, the health insurance company Kaiser Permanente paid Pugh’s company more than $100,000 for Healthy Holly books around the same time a city committee overseen by Pugh awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to the company.
Pugh has not commented on this second deal.
There have been no criminal charges against Pugh so far. But a number of her fellow Democrats in Maryland and Republican Governor Larry Hogan had urged her to resign.
Baltimore is a major international port with deep roots in American history. But it is trying to overcome a tarnished image of a violent, impoverished city with crumbling houses, shuttered storefronts and a downtown that becomes a ghost town after dark.
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