It’s now officially been more than a month since anyone has seen Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) leave her home since she went on indefinite paid leave for “medical reasons.” Nearly everyone in the state has called on the Mayor to resign in the wake of the BookGate scandal, but her attorneys and spokesmen continue to insist that she’s not physically well enough to make such a taxing decision at this point. But this week, the City Solicitor decided to offer the fragile mayor a little help. He wrote a resignation letter for her, needing only her signature to make it official, and gave it to her attorney for delivery to the Mayor’s house. (Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore City Solicitor Andre Davis drafted a resignation letter for Mayor Catherine Pugh and gave it Wednesday to her attorney, as city residents await her decision about whether to step down in the face of federal and state investigations.
Her lawyer, Steven Silverman, is expected to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon at his downtown office.
In a quick, curbside exchange outside City Hall, Davis gave a manila folder to Silverman about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday. Slightly more than an hour later, Silverman arrived at the Democratic mayor’s house in the city’s Ashburton neighborhood.
Both men declined to comment about the exchange, which was witnessed by a Baltimore Sun reporter.
Could Pugh possibly take the hint this time? When the leaders of your own party are demanding you step down and a former federal circuit court judge is writing your resignation for you, perhaps it’s time to bail out on this dog and pony show. We’re told to expect a press briefing from her lawyer this afternoon, so it’s possible that she may have finally seen the writing on the wall. But then again, we’ve been told about big announcements from this guy in the past and it always winds up being an update on how Pugh is still “too ill” make any decisions.
Speaking of the scare quotes around “too ill,” the press and most of the public in Baltimore are finally coming out and saying what we’ve been suggesting here for some time. It’s preposterous to believe that Mayor Pugh has actually been so ill for more than a month that she can’t even leave her home, to say nothing of go to her office, without ever bothering to go to a hospital. This is almost certainly a lie made up to provide cover while she waited and hoped for the scandal to blow over. (ABC News)
After a month on paid leave from her $185,000 job as the city’s No. 1 official, her lawyer’s cryptic comments about Pugh’s open-ended retreat inside her home are straining the credulity of many Baltimore taxpayers. A scandal engulfing her life and career isn’t going away, leaving her politically vulnerable and deeply isolated.
“I think she’s in a tough place and she’s hiding at home trying to save face,” city resident Rachel Richardson said early Wednesday during a break cleaning streets in Baltimore’s bustling downtown. “I definitely know I can’t believe what I’m hearing anymore.”
While the first-term Democratic mayor still has some supporters with a wait-and-see attitude, numerous citizens who had been willing to give Pugh the benefit of the doubt now perceive her indefinite leave with suspicion. It’s something Silverman is acutely aware of as calls for Pugh’s resignation accumulate.
Pugh is being asked to produce, at a minimum, some sort of doctor’s note describing her debilitating condition and what treatment she is receiving for it. If she’s not actually too sick to go to her office then what she’s doing is known as malingering. And if that’s the case, then the City Council should have sufficient grounds to bring legal charges against her. If she’s convicted of anything they would then have the power to remove her.
This woman has been a complete embarrassment to the city of Baltimore and made their government into a laughing stock and a symbol of entrenched corruption. It’s far past time for her to go, and sticking around collecting her taxpayer-funded salary is only making things worse.