Baltimore City Council Wants Mayor To Step Down Over Pay To Play, She Says She’s Not Going Anywhere

GOP Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, the Never Trumper, called for an investigation into Mayor Catherine Pugh’s questionable actions where she received hundreds of thousands of dollars of payments for her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s books from Kaiser Permanente and other non-profit organizations.

Baltimore’s 14-member City Council wrote a letter to Pugh, who took a leave of absence last week, that said: “The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore for you to continue to serve as Mayor, we urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”

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Pugh’s office issued the following response: “Mayor Pugh has taken a leave to focus on recovering from pneumonia and regaining her health, she fully intends to resume the duties of her office and continuing her work on behalf of the people and the City of Baltimore.”

That seems like she copied Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reason for leaving office and continuing her duties while she lay allegedly sick at home. The last time we spoke on this story, Pugh was stepping down to reflect on things, and she claims to have pneumonia? Anyone who can’t see past this farce is complicit.

Pugh’s troubles began last month when the Baltimore Sun reported that, while serving on the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) board of directors, Pugh arranged deals beginning in 2001 to sell 100,000 copies of her “Healthy Holly” series to the medical system at a total cost of $500,000. While the books teach children the importance of diet and exercise, there were no competitive bids for the deal, and Pugh resigned from the board last month.

Related: More Corruption In Baltimore! Mayor Takes Leave Of Absence After Pay To Play Scheme Exposed!

Just before Pugh announced her leave of absence, the Sun reported that the health insurance giant Kaiser Permanente paid Pugh $114,000 for copies of her books from 2015 to 2018. In September 2017, the city’s spending board, which Pugh controls, awarded Kaiser a $48 million contract for insurance for city employees. Pugh has not commented about the deal with Kaiser.

Baltimore’s city charter doesn’t state how a mayor can be removed, meaning it could be impossible to evict Pugh from office without a conviction or guilty plea. Councilman Ryan Dorsey is among those urging the Maryland General Assembly to amend the state’s constitution or city charter to allow for a mechanism to remove Pugh. On Sunday, one of Pugh’s top aides stepped down because of the scandal. [Yahoo News]

Almost as good as her predecessor, Sheila Dixon. Dixon allegedly stole gift cards from the city that were donated by a local organization for poor and homeless children at Christmas. She took hundreds of them, and they were traced to electronic equipment found in her home. Baltimore has a long history of this stuff, and it doesn’t get any better.

That’s what you get when all you care about is the race and gender of the politician. I guarantee whoever becomes mayor next will be just as bad because the voters are more concerned about race and gender than anything else, and there is one party rule there, so why should any Democrat bother not being corrupt?

Believe it or not, there once was a time when politicians, even crooked ones, resigned when caught in unethical circumstances in an attempt to try to save what little dignity they might still have had. Nowadays, the typical response is “I’m not going anywhere.” Sadly, dignity is now a thing of the past.

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Wayne is a freelance writer who was named the 2015 American Conservative Union Blogger of the Year and awarded... More about Wayne Dupree

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