ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is asking the state prosecutor to launch a formal investigation into Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s sales of children’s books to the University of Maryland Medical Center while she was a board member.
In a letter to the state prosecutor Hogan said, “These are deeply disturbing allegations. I am particularly concerned about the UMMS sale because it has significant continuing ties with the State and receives very substantial public funding.”
Pugh sold $500,000 worth of her “Healthy Holly” children’s book series to UMMS.
She was on the board until last week when she resigned.
On Monday, Kaiser Permanante said it too bought $114,000 worth of the books from Pugh from 2015-2018. She became mayor in Dec. 2016.
Comptroller Pete Franchot called for Pugh’s resignation Monday following the Kaiser Permanante news.
Read a copy of the full letter here: Hogan Letter To State Prosecutor
Mayor Pugh announced she is taking a leave of absence starting Tuesday at midnight, citing health issues.
Stepping in is City Council President Jack Young as acting mayor. He stressed that it is only temporary and did not concern himself with a possible criminal investigation into the mayor’s inside book deals.
“That’s the governor’s prerogative to ask for that. I want to let them do their job and I’ll do my job,” Young said.
He said he spoke with the mayor Monday, but doesn’t have a timetable as to when- or if- she may return.
There also appear to be even more purchases of the books.
The Baltimore Sun reports Monday night that Associated Black Charities paid the mayor $80,000 for 10,000 copies, an even-higher markup than the mayor’s previous deals.