FBI raids home, offices of Baltimore mayor over suspicious book sales

Federal agents raided the home of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who has been under investigation for questionable business ties.

An FBI spokesman said search warrants had been issued for the mayor’s residence, offices in Baltimore’s City Hall, as well as another location related to a nonprofit organization managed by the mayor.

Pugh came under suspicion earlier this year, when a Baltimore Sun investigation revealed the mayor had earned thousands of dollars selling her ‘Healthy Holly’ children’s book series to companies looking to land contracts with the city.

In one sale, Pugh was paid some $114,000 by healthcare firm Kaiser Permanente, which two years later would be awarded a multi-million dollar contract providing health coverage for city workers. Pugh sits on the city’s budget board, which approved the contract.

The mayor also had previously undisclosed business dealings with the University of Maryland Medical System, where she served as a longtime board member.

Some have called for her resignation.

“Now more than ever, Baltimore City needs strong and responsible leadership,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead. For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”

The mayor has been on indefinite leave since April 1, when she was hospitalized with pneumonia. Acting Mayor Jack Young said he had dismissed three of Pugh’s aides, and put several others on paid leave.