Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned Thursday, after apologizing for any harm she caused the city’s image amongst a growing scandal regarding her sales of a self-published children’s book series. Baltimore has had two mayors resign in less than a decade over a scandal, while a third one declined to run for another term due to a riot over police misconduct and an increasing murder rate.
“I’m sorry for the harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor,” Pugh, 69, said in the statement. “Baltimore deserves a mayor who can move our great city forward.”
Pugh submitted her letter of resignation with Thursday’s date filled in by hand. Steven Silverman, the attorney representing Pugh, said her resignation is effective immediately.
Pugh didn’t attend the 96-second news conference at Silverman’s offices in downtown Baltimore, and it’s unknown when she will reemerge from her seclusion since her last news conference March 28.“This is a sad day for Mayor Pugh and a sad day for the city of Baltimore,” the lawyer said.
The mayor’s staff was present at a Thursday afternoon meeting at City Hall, where they were informed of the news. Pugh’s portraits will reportedly be removed from city buildings, and her signature will no longer appear on city documents.
“I saw a woman, a politician, an elected leader who was absolutely dedicated to this city,” City Solicitor Andre Davis told reporters at City Hall as he held back tears. “I’m very sad. I didn’t think I would get emotional.”
“The image of our city has taken a hit. No doubt about it,” said Democratic U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore. She always said this was her dream job. I feel very sad.”