Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced her resignation Thursday (May 2) following a monthlong leave of absence. Pugh had been on indefinite leave amid pressure to resign after it was revealed that companies linked to the city’s government paid her more than $700,000 over the course of several years for her self-published book series.
Pugh has been holed up in her home battling pneumonia and “emotional distress”, the Baltimore Sun reports. The 69-year-old politician released a statement apologizing for damaging the city’s image. “I would like to thank you for allowing me to serve as the 50th mayor. It has been an honor and a privilege,” the statement began.
“Today, I am submitting my written resignation to the Baltimore City Council. I am 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. Baltimore deserves a mayor who can move our great city forward. I want to thank all of our department heads and staff who work hard every day to improve the quality of life for all who live, work and visit our city.”
In her resignation statement, Pugh also thanked Baltimore City Council President Jack Young for his “steadfast leadership” during her absence, and wished him wall as he prepares to replace her as mayor.
Pugh’s finances and business dealings have been the focus of a federal probe. Last week, the FBI and IRS raided Pugh’s office and home as part of the investigation.
Pugh was elected mayor in 2016. Her resignation is effective immediately.