BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The CEO of the UMMS has been asked to take a leave of absence, the Board Chair said Thursday.

Robert A. Chrencik will begin his absence Monday, as the board plans to open a review of their practices, the board said in a statement.


Courtesy: UMMS website.

“There is nothing more important than the trust of those that depend upon the Board’s leadership. And, over the past week, I’ve had the proper time to listen to concerns and reflect. The Board and I are firmly committed to evolving our governance principles and operating with even more transparency,” said Board Chair Stephen Burch.

John Ashworth, senior vice president of network development for UMMS and associate dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine will act as interim President and CEO.

The board voted unanimously Thursday during an emergency board meeting to engage and outside, “independent accounting/legal firm to conduct an exhaustive review and assessment of board contractuaul relationships,”

The board said the search will begin immediately.

The status of affected board members who currently have business relationships will remain intact while each agreement is being reviewed, the board chair said in a statement Thursday.

This comes amid scandal that Mayor Pugh sold the system $500,000 worth of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books.

Mayor Pugh Returns $100K From Book Sales To University Of Maryland Medical System

Pugh said later Wednesday she had returned $100,000 from her book sales, books that the system in turn, gave to City schools are are currently sitting in a district warehouse.

Pugh released a statement later Thursday afternoon, saying she will continue writing- with this experience in mind.

“As many people know, I am very interested in health and fitness – particularly as it relates to our children. They may not know that I have been a publisher since 1979 and an author for 25 years.

I started working on the Healthy Holly concept more than a decade ago after
attending a conference on childhood health and obesity, and, for several years, I put a great deal of time and my own money into developing it.

It was a project that I was passionate about, and I was excited for the opportunity to expand its reach. I recall passing the time by thumbing through the first book before an UMMS meeting. One my colleagues loved it and thought it would help advance children’s health.

Despite all that has happened, I am glad that the important messages in the book reached our city’s children. I never thought this would lead to today, and I understand how it may look to some, but here is what I have done to address this matter:

  • I have resigned from the UMMS Board. It was an honor to serve an
    institution that does so much good, but it was time to leave. I have more than enough to do as Mayor.
  • I updated my old Senate financial disclosure forms to be transparent upon learning that these transactions were disclosed on one set of forms but not another. I’m not sure why this oversight occurred, but it has been corrected.
  • I have returned the most recent payment.
  • Like any other small business owner, I’ve reported this revenue on my tax
    returns.

I plan to keep working to improve the health of children in our city, and I will keep writing – with this experience in mind,”

This story is developing. 

Follow @WJZ on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook

Comments