BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Sources tell WJZ a seventh staffer for Mayor Catherine Pugh has been placed on paid leave. Acting Mayor Jack Young made the decision and declined to comment Friday.
Those currently on paid leave include Pugh’s chief of staff and main lobbyist.
A spokesman for Mayor Pugh said she’s continuing to see doctors and recover from pneumonia and does intend to return to work.
Pugh is under fire for receiving half a million dollars from the University of Maryland Medical System for her “Healthy Holly” children’s book while serving on the system’s board. She also received money for her book from other entities that do business with the city.
This week, Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill into law that reforms the UMMS board and prohibits no-bid contracts being given to board members.
“I think it’s the beginning of looking at the private sector and non-profits throughout the State of Maryland because I think the University of Maryland Medical System isn’t in isolation,” said Senator Jill Carter, who is behind the bill. “It was about making sure adequate opportunities were being provided for people. When you have a small group of people who are on the board making decisions and they get profits and exclude Baltimore residents and small and minority businesses from having those opportunities — that is what this is really about.”
Carter said she found the high level of campaign financing surrounding the awarding of contacts significant.
“Over the next few legislative sessions, we’re going to see a lot more legislators putting in these kinds of bills to require accountability and transparency,” she said.