Washington, May 3 (GCCurrentAffairs) Catherine Pugh, mayor of U.S. city of Baltimore, resigned Thursday amid a corruption scandal centered around self-published children’s books that led to raids on her office and home, according to her attorney.
“I am sorry for the harm I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor,” her attorney Steven Silverman said in a statement from Pugh, “Baltimore deserves a mayor that can move our great city forward.”
The resignation is effective immediately, capping weeks of speculation of whether Pugh would surrender her job in the wake of allegations that she profited from using political power to sell children’s books.
Local media reported in March that University of Maryland Medical Center paid 500,000 U.S. dollars to purchase 100,000 copies of Healthy Holly books, a children’s book series she wrote. Later investigation showed that not all of the ordered books were delivered.
Local media also reported health insurance company Kaiser Permanente and a non-profit Associated Black Charities both paid large sums to purchase the books.
The allegations prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and criminal investigators from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to search the mayor’s home and Baltimore City Hall office on April 25. As investigation proceeded, Pugh took paid leave of absence since April 1.
Pugh’s resignation put Bernard Young as the city’s full-time mayor. Young has already fired three of Pugh’s top aides.
Pugh, 69, was the second Baltimore mayor to resign in disgrace in recent years. Former mayor Sheila Dixon resigned in 2010 as part of a plea deal after being found guilty of embezzlement.