News

U.S.

Former Baltimore Mayor Pleads Guilty on Charges of Conspiracy and Tax Evasion

Then-state senator Catherine Pugh speaks during a TV interview near the City Hall in Baltimore, Md., in 2015. (File photo: Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters)

Former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal charges of conspiracy and tax evasion related to sales of her children’s book Healthy Holly, and pleaded not guilty to wire fraud, just a day after she was indicted.

In deals first exposed by The Baltimore Sun, Pugh sold her poorly-published book, which contained multiple grammatical and spelling mistakes, to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) while she sat on the System’s board. Pugh made a $500,000 profit from the sales.

Health insurance provider Kaiser Permanente also paid Pugh $100,000 for thousands of copies of the book while simultaneously seeking a contract to insure Baltimore city employees.

The details of the plea deal were not immediately available.

David Jaros, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, told the Sun that Pugh may have accepted the plea deal to gain some advantage with authorities: “the one thing a criminal defendant can bring to the table is information about other criminal activity.” However, Jaros said it was also possible that Pugh “just wants to resolve the matter and move on with her life and face whatever consequences she’s going to face.”

Pugh used the proceeds from her book sales to fund straw donations for her political campaigns as well as to pay for a house.

Prosecutors said they had been building a case against Pugh for years before the Sun revealed allegations against the former mayor.

Pugh had originally called the investigations against her a “witch hunt.” Thursday marked the first time Pugh admitted to wrongdoing in the cases. It remains unclear what punishment she will receive, although a prison sentence is possible.

Most Popular

Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
Film & TV

Clint Eastwood’s Messy, Nuanced Triumph

After a pipe bomb exploded at a concert held to celebrate the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta’s Centennial Park, the FBI came to suspect that the security guard who discovered the device might have planted it to gain a reputation as a hero. The knotty story of that security guard, Richard Jewell, does not lend itself ... Read More
Film & TV

Clint Eastwood’s Messy, Nuanced Triumph

After a pipe bomb exploded at a concert held to celebrate the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta’s Centennial Park, the FBI came to suspect that the security guard who discovered the device might have planted it to gain a reputation as a hero. The knotty story of that security guard, Richard Jewell, does not lend itself ... Read More
Film & TV

Knives Out Takes On the Anti-Immigration Crowd

Since the beginning of the Obama era, the Left has broadcast two contradictory messages on the subjects of race and immigration. The first is that a so-called Coalition of the Ascendant will inevitably displace white Americans as the dominant force in the country’s politics and culture. The second is that ... Read More
Film & TV

Knives Out Takes On the Anti-Immigration Crowd

Since the beginning of the Obama era, the Left has broadcast two contradictory messages on the subjects of race and immigration. The first is that a so-called Coalition of the Ascendant will inevitably displace white Americans as the dominant force in the country’s politics and culture. The second is that ... Read More
Elections

More Bad News for Medicare for All

The hits keep coming for Medicare for All. Gallup’s annual health-care survey of adults found that Americans back a system based on private insurance rather than government provision by 54 percent to 42 percent. “This could create a challenge in a general election campaign for a Democratic presidential ... Read More
Elections

More Bad News for Medicare for All

The hits keep coming for Medicare for All. Gallup’s annual health-care survey of adults found that Americans back a system based on private insurance rather than government provision by 54 percent to 42 percent. “This could create a challenge in a general election campaign for a Democratic presidential ... Read More