BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After federal agents raided Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s house, City Hall and other locations early Thursday morning, new and resounding calls for her resignation have poured out of the state.
Shortly after the raids were announced, Gov. Larry Hogan officially called for her resignation.
“On April 1, I directed the state prosecutor to investigate the disturbing allegations surrounding Mayor Catherine Pugh’s questionable financial dealings with the University of Maryland Medical System,” Hogan said. “Today, Federal law enforcement agents are raiding Baltimore’s City Hall, the homes of Mayor Catherine Pugh and the office of her attorney.”
Hogan continued saying Baltimore needs “strong and responsible leadership,” and that the mayor has lost the public’s trust.
“She is clearly not fit to lead,” he said. “For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”
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Rep. Elijah Cummings stayed quiet until around 1 p.m. He stopped short of saying Pugh should resign, but urged Pugh to put the best interests of the city and its residents first.
“I urge Mayor Pugh to put the best interests of the City and its residents first and foremost. Baltimore needs and deserves leadership that is above reproach and which can lead the City forward in ways that engender the trust and confidence of all essential stakeholders. No one questions Mayor Pugh’s passion for Baltimore City and its citizens. At the same time, the circumstances now require that she also provide an example of accountability for those same people. We all want her health to be restored and to now focus on these very grave matters that have everything to do with her personal business endeavors and nothing to do with the priorities of the City of Baltimore.”
City Councilman Brandon Scott said he was focusing on the city, but also called for her to leave the office.
“Shortly after 7 a.m. this morning I was notified that the FBI was conducting raids at the home of Mayor Pugh and her office at City Hall. Mayor Pugh should resign immediately. Baltimore needs to move forward and heal from this embarrassment. Baltimore is a great and resilient city, but we can’t waste anymore time on this issue,” said Scott. “There are many important issues in front of us that require the complete attention of a full-time Mayor. Our focus must continue to be fighting crime and improving the schools in our city.”
Also chiming in was 2020 mayoral candidate and former federal and city prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah, who said Baltimore has had too many “disgraceful headlines”
“Baltimore has had too many of these disgraceful headlines. If the Mayor wants what is best for Baltimore, she will step down immediately. We don’t have an image problem, we have a leadership problem. If we want to change the perception of Baltimore, we need to change the reality of Baltimore,”
Baltimore citizens’ opinions intensified Thursday afternoon.
“I’m glad she’s gone, I hope she do go,” said Penn North resident Marcus Alston.
“I think she should resign,” said Libby Cole.
Michelle Hopkins is from Park Heights, where the Maryland Center for Adult Training was raided by FBI agents Thursday morning.
“Until you get regular people in there that’s gonna do their job the right way, then that’s when our city is gonna get it right.
A since-deleted webpage lists three Pugh staffers fired yesterday as board members of MCAT from 2017 to 2019.
Agents carted box after box out of the facility and into SUVs.
One of the at least six locations where the feds moved in on Mayor Pugh’s business dealings.
And no matter the neighborhood, her constituents said they are fed up.
“I think Baltimore has too many issues and too many things to focus on to have problems like this, and have the distraction,” Cole said.
“It couldn’t be more corrupt if it were in Chicago, it’s just like mobtown stuff, it’s awful,” said David Andrew
However, she does have some supporters, for now.
“I don’t think that she should resign right away, I think she should leave her options open. I think that she should apologize and maybe come clean about the whole situation,” said Karron Johnson.
“Besides this whole scandal with the books thing, I think she’s been doing a pretty good job,” said Angelica Lewis.