Baltimore Mayor Steps Down
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has resigned amid an intensifying scandal and multiple investigations into the lucrative sales of her self-published children's books.
Steven Silverman is Pugh's attorney. He announced Pugh's resignation at a news conference Thursday afternoon. He said it will take effect immediately.
Reading from a written statement from Pugh, Silverman quoted her as saying, "Baltimore deserves a mayor who can move our great city forward."
The decision comes exactly one week after FBI and IRS agents raided the mayor's home and City Hall offices.
Pugh has been in self-imposed seclusion for a month. She initially announced that she was taking a leave of absence to recover from pneumonia.
At issue is the roughly $800,000 Pugh received through the years from a hospital network, insurance carriers that did business with the city and a financier for bulk copies of her "Healthy Holly" children's books.
The first-term Democrat became mayor in late 2016.
Maryland's Republican governor and the chairwoman of the state's Democratic party say Pugh made the right decision to resign and that by stepping down she will allow the city to move forward.
Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement that "it was clear the mayor could no longer lead effectively."
Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings said the resignation "affords Baltimore the opportunity to address its challenges with courage and optimism."
Hogan said state and federal investigations into the lucrative sales of Pugh's self-published children's books "will continue to uncover the facts."
City Council member Brandon Scott says the mayor's resignation marks a "day of relief and accountability" for Baltimore.
In her resignation letter, Pugh apologized, saying she was "sorry for the harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor."