BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has been hospitalized after being diagnosed with pneumonia, she confirmed in a statement from her aides Monday morning.
Pugh has not been seen at city hall for more than a week, aides say she has pneumonia since at least last Tuesday night.
That’s when WJZ got late word the mayor would not attend the weekly Board of Estimates meeting, the city’s spending board, on which, she is a member.
She also cancelled a weekly media briefing.
All of this, amid the growing questions about a half a million dollar book deal came to light with the University of Maryland Medical System on whose board she also served until she resigned last week.
She made one public appearance last week in Annapolis, testifying in an effort to keep the Preakness in Baltimore.
After which, she tried explaining the book deal.
“I’ve apologized for some of the comments I’ve made in terms of just being under– just being concerned, and so, i just feel that we can move forward,” Pugh said.
Pugh may want to move forward, but she has been instructed by her doctor to rest until fully recovered.
She’s cancelled all public appearances until then putting off questions about dealings with the medical system.
We don’t know at which hospital mayor Pugh is being treated.
As the mayor rests, City Council met Monday for a working lunch.
Many chose not to address the ethics controversy with Mayor Pugh amid the growing questions about half a million dollar children’s book deal that came to light with the University of Maryland Medical System.
She was a board member for the private health system until she resigned last week. Mayor Pugh failed to disclose business dealings and even donated money from her book company to her campaign, while many of the books are still unaccounted for.
“Health care and education should not be privatized and that it can lead to situations like this one where there is temptation to leverage public positions for personal gain,” said Councilman Zeke Cohen.
“It is very troubling, but we have to be very clear to find out what the council’s ability really could be,” said Councilman Brandon Scott.
Councilman Bill Henry attributes much of the council’s silence on the matter to the power dynamics the mayor flexes over the council.
“What we want to do in terms of trying to help our constituents, bringing resources to our district, that relies, generally speaking, on having some type of working relationship with the executive,” Henry said.
The mayor is submitting her city budget this week. Meanwhile, many city councilors are looking to state lawmakers to provide the oversight over the dealings with the UMMS, and stopped short of suggesting the mayor should release her financial records.
“The concerns that have been raised fall into two categories: potential ethics violations and potential violations of the law,” said Councilman Eric Costello.
“This situation definitely raises concerns about what was going on at the University of Maryland Medical System and whether our state had enough checks on that system,” Cohen said.
Council President Jack Young has declined to comment on the issue, as well as saying this is a state issue.
Aides to Mayor Pugh, meanwhile, said she is on doctor’s orders to rest, cancelling events until further notice.