BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned as a board member of the University of Maryland Medical System a week after fallout related to her book sale.
While not available Monday to answer questions, Pugh issued statement Monday morning stating she submitted her resignation to UMMS Board chair Stephen A. Burch.
“It has been an honor to have been associated with the important work of the UMMS Board, but the fact is, I have many other pressing concerns that require my full attention, energy and efforts,” Pugh said in her statement. “I have the utmost admiration for the University of Maryland Medical System as one of our City’s and State’s greatest assets and will continue to advocate for its tremendous impact on the health of our region.”
The resignation came after she didn’t foreclose the $500,000 business relationship she started with the hospital in 2011. Baltimore Sun reporting showed Pugh filed disclosure forms with incorrect information and failed to disclose her position with the UMMS board in city ethics forms.
“I was frankly shocked and appalled. I was outraged when I found out (and) read these reports,” Governor Larry Hogan said late Monday morning. “You should not be a board member and receive compensation. I think (resigning) was a smart thing for the mayor to do.”
Gov. Hogan said he plans on meeting Wednesday with UMMS officials and legislative leaders to push for reforms.
“Today, I accepted Mayor Catherine Pugh’s resignation from the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors. The Board is grateful to Mayor Pugh for her years of dedicated service and staunch advocacy on behalf of the Medical System. Mayor Pugh;s volunteerism has helped enable long-term, System-wide growth while improving health care delivery for many millions of Marylanders,” said Burch.
She defended her decision to sell her self-published books to UMMS, while she was on its board of directors.
Damon Effingham of ethics reform advocacy group Common Cause Maryland said the story is a win for transparency in Maryland, but hopes it pushes other officials to review their financial dealings.
We have to expect more from our legislators and our elected officials of all ranges that they should understand that this type of relationship would look incredibly problematic,” Effingham said. “It’s another in a series of questionable actions from the mayor that I think are going to continue to raise questions without as long as she continues down this path not holding yourself to a standard that’s higher than the minimum described in Maryland law.”
This is a developing story. Stay with WJZ for the latest.