Well, the 69-year-old is the second mayor of Baltimore to leave office over the last decade while facing corruption charges. The charge accuses her of a long-standing scheme dating back to 2007.
Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hoor, along with senior FBI and IRS officials, have to consider the charges, which were not sealed Wednesday, at a morning briefing. The allegations come after searches in April at Baltimore City Hall, Puey's Homes and the non-profit related to it. Federal agents searched for financial documents and other information related to nearly $ 800,000 allegedly paid for books, a huge amount in the world of children's literature.
Two former Baltimore employees, 38-year-old Gary Brown, Jr., and 50-year-old Rolin Whittington, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and to file false documents. tax returns, prosecutors said in a statement.
"The people of Maryland expect elected officials to make decisions based on the best interests of the community, not to abuse their position for personal gain," Jennifer Boone, the special agent in charge of the FBI Police Office, said in a statement .
Pue, a former state MP for over a decade and rising political star, was elected mayor in 201
6. Her fall stunned friends and supporters and was another blow to the city, fighting continued violence and marked by riots in 2015 after Freddie Gray's death in police custody.
Last week, the city registered its 300th homicide for the fifth consecutive year. The gloomy numbers threaten to leave Baltimore again with the highest or near highest homicide rate in the country.
State and federal investigators began investigating payments to Pugh by organizations, including the University of Maryland Healthy Holly Medical System, a series of books that follows an African-American girl, Holly, and is aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle.
In March, the Baltimore Sun first reported that Phu had received $ 500,000 for a total of 100,000 books since 2011, when she served on a state Senate committee that partially funds the private hospital network – and on its board. Pew resigned from the board of directors, which she has served for 18 years. She returned $ 100,000 for the delivery of books she said had not been completed.
The Sun also reported that Kaiser Permanente paid Pugh more than $ 100,000 for the book at the same time as he sought a $ 48 million contract from a city board controlled by
Phu was hospitalized with pneumonia in for five days at the end of March and took indefinite leave on April 1st. She never went back to her job in the City Hall.
Longtime City Council Chairman Bernard K. "Jack" Young was promoted to acting mayor when Pugh took leave and served as mayor since his resignation. The youths are planning to run for mayor in the 2020 election.
In addition to the homes and offices of Phu Agents, they searched the apartment of Gary Brown, Jr., a former chief aide to Poe. Brown and Phu have connections with the non-profit Adult Learning Center in Maryland, which was also searched in the spring.
Poo previously chaired the center's board of directors, and Brown was included in tax filing as executive director of the program for the fiscal year ending June 2017. The workforce training program received city contracts during Pue's tenure as mayor. , according to Sun.
Even before the criminal charge was made public, revelations about medical system contracts for board members prompted the General Assembly to take action, state lawmakers ordered an audit of the medical system, with a report due to lawmakers by December 15.
But auditors last month requested an extension to March 13, 2020, saying that UMMS had "delayed or hindered our work, repeatedly failing to make staff available and not providing information on requests in a timely manner. "The extension was approved Nov. 7 by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Adrien Jones (D-Baltimore County).
In a statement, the system said that the audit required "countless hours and the production of many thousands of documents by UMMS." ", According to a statement by John Ashert, interim president and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System.
Rachel Chason contributed to this report