Investigators from the FBI and IRS are in the process of executing court-authorized search warrants at the homes of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, at Baltimore City Hall, and other locations.
Video by WMAR 2 News
Various media outlets are reporting on the series of searches underway that also include warrants served at The Maryland Center for Adult Training, the office of Pugh’s attorney Steve Silverman, and the home of Pugh aide Gary Brown Jr.
Wow, @iduncan reporting Pugh’s *attorney’s* office is being raided by FBI. Raiding an attorney’s office is not easily done. Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White is one of the biggest firms in town
— Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) April 25, 2019
According to the Baltimore Sun, FBI spokesman Dave Fitz confirmed that federal agents are executing the search warrants in at least six locations. This is reportedly the first confirmation that federal authorities, as well as state officials, are investigating the controversial mayor.
Police said that Pugh remained inside her home during the raids.
With the advent of the law enforcement searches, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has issued a call for Pugh to resign.
Hogan said, “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. Today, agents for the FBI and the IRS executed search warrants at the mayor’s homes and offices. Now more than ever, Baltimore City needs strong and responsible leadership. Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead. For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”
Pugh has been on a temporary leave of absence since early April that she blamed on a bout with pneumonia.
More likely is that she has been in hiding, as she has been taking fire from all sides due to a number of issues, not the least of which is gross mismanagement of Baltimore’s business, which has one the nation’s highest murder rates.
The issue that has broken the dam for Pugh this month is the discovery that she sold her self-published children’s book, “Healthy Holly, Exercising is Fun” to the University of Maryland Medical Systems (UMMS) for $500,000 while sitting on the organization’s board of directors. During most of the time of the book sales to UMMS, in five large increments, Pugh was a state senator on the Senate Finance Committee. In that role, she oversaw issues related to UMMS. She did not disclose the book’s earnings on ethics forms, the Baltimore Sun has reported.
Health insurer Kaiser Permanente also bought more than $100,000 worth of Pugh’s books.
Calls for Pugh’s resignation across Maryland have been loud and clear for several weeks.
The Mayor has to resign – now. The people of Baltimore are facing too many serious challenges, as it is, to also to deal with such brazen, cartoonish corruption from their chief executive. https://t.co/00VBd5FbyB
— Comptroller Peter Franchot (@peterfranchot) April 1, 2019
The Sun reports …
Democratic City Councilman Brandon Scott also called Thursday for Pugh to resign. The entire City Council as well as Baltimore lawmakers in the House of Delegates and the pro-business Greater Baltimore Committee are also seeking her resignation.
“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,” Scott said in a statement. “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.”
Neither Pugh nor her attorney Steven Silverman have issued comments today.
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