BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty Thursday to several federal charges in the “Healthy Holly” scandal that ultimately led to her resignation.

Outside of Pugh’s campaign office on Charles Street, citizens of Baltimore talked about the erosion of public trust.

“She knew what she was doing and she didn’t think she was going to get caught doing it,” Ronald Day said.

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“I feel like [it is a breach] for the people who still had trust,” Roshan Davis said. “I personally don’t put a lot of stock in what people in high positions of power say, because power corrupts.”

University of Baltimore Ethics Professor Fred Guy said trust is important for public officials.

“I think it matters a lot,” Guy said. “We teach our children not to lie, not a cheat, not to steal. She’s done all of it.”

Ethics reform has passed since Pugh’s scandal broke, requiring disclosures of board memberships and business interests, but Guy said morality cannot be legislated.

“You can have as much law as you can possibly put on the books, and there’s going to be some loopholes,” Guy said. “There’s gonna be people from find of cracks and fall through it.”

Residents said ethics and trust will be on the ballot during April’s mayoral race.

Paul Gessler

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