Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigns following children's book scandal

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) stepped down Thursday, after The Baltimore Sun uncovered earlier this year that she made hundreds of thousands of dollars by getting companies with business ties to the city to buy her “Healthy Holly” children’s book series.

Several top city and state lawmakers, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), had urged her to resign.

“Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead. For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign,” Hogan tweeted last week, hours after FBI and IRS agents raided Pugh’s home and office.

Pugh’s attorney, Steve Silverman, told local news reporters later that day that the mayor was not “physically and mentally sound and lucid enough to make appropriate decisions,” such as whether she would resign.

Pugh had been on indefinite leave since April 1, after being hospitalized with pneumonia. The same day, Hogan ordered the state prosecutor’s office to open an investigation into Pugh’s book sales.

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Catherine Pugh's home seized by authorities
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Catherine Pugh's home seized by authorities
Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service agents enter City Hall in Baltimore, MD., on Thursday, April 25, 2019. FBI, IRS launched raids connected to Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh amid widening probes to determine whether she used sales of her children's books to disguise government kickbacks. (Ian Duncan/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 25: Federal agents remove items from the home of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh in the 3400 block of Ellamont Rd as they execute a search warrant, on April 25, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. Federal agencies raided City Hall, the home of Mayor Catherine Pugh and several other properties as the investigation into the mayor’s business dealings for sales of the “Healthy Holly” books widened. (Photo by John Strohsacker/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 25: Federal agents remove items from the home of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh in the 3400 block of Ellamont Rd as they execute a search warrant, on April 25, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. Federal agencies raided City Hall, the home of Mayor Catherine Pugh and several other properties as the investigation into the mayor’s business dealings for sales of the “Healthy Holly” books widened. (Photo by John Strohsacker/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 25: Federal agents remove items from the home of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh in the 3400 block of Ellamont Rd as they execute a search warrant, on April 25, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. Federal agencies raided City Hall, the home of Mayor Catherine Pugh and several other properties as the investigation into the mayor’s business dealings for sales of the “Healthy Holly” books widened. (Photo by John Strohsacker/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 25: Federal agents remove items from the home of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh in the 3400 block of Ellamont Rd as they execute a search warrant, on April 25, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. Federal agencies raided City Hall, the home of Mayor Catherine Pugh and several other properties as the investigation into the mayor’s business dealings for sales of the “Healthy Holly” books widened. (Photo by John Strohsacker/Getty Images)
Mayor Catherine Pugh displayed documents and products relating to her Healthy Holly book business, and the healthy lifestyle baby products that she promoted, during a City Hall press conference. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images)
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh offers background on her "Healthy Holly" book business and the healthy lifestyle baby products she promoted during a City Hall press conference on March 28, 2019. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images)
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Health giant Kaiser Permanente bought $114,000 worth of the books from 2015 to 2018, according to the Sun. The company also landed a major contract with the city during that time. 

Pugh also sold the books to the University of Maryland Medical System, of which she had been a longtime board member.

Pugh is the second consecutive Baltimore mayor to resign because of a scandal. She was elected in 2016 to succeed Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D). Rawlings-Blake decided not to seek reelection after being criticized for how she handled the death of Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody in 2015.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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