RadioOnFire.com – Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is facing new questions about her financial transactions amid controversy over payments she received from the University of Maryland Medical System to publish children’s books. Records show the mayor bought a second home. In the same period of time, she was paid for tens of thousands of books that now have little public accounting.
In December 2016, the mayor purchased a home in the Ashburton neighborhood of Baltimore. She paid $117,500. No traditional mortgage is recorded in land records. She appears to have spent additional money renovating the house.
City records show permits were issued for interior demolition and new plumbing. The 11 News I-Team has asked whether the purchase of the home was in cash, and is waiting for clarification from the mayor’s staff. The mayor, through her LLC, was paid $500,000 by UMMS since 2011 to publish 100,000 children’s books to be distributed to the City School System. But a spokesperson for the city schools said the system has no record of book shipments beyond 2013.
The mayor has not provided an accounting of book distribution. Pugh’s LLC received $100,000 from the medical system in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, and in the 2016-2017 fiscal year according to state filings. She has returned the most recent $100,000 payment and canceled the book deal.