What is going on with the nation’s Black female mayors? First Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms is catching heat for paying city staffers before their official hire date. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is taking secret trips to Cuba and now Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is catching heat for children’s books she is publishing.
Pugh is under fire for a $500k publishing deal she made with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS). A deal that was approved by the board of directors, which Pugh happened to be a member of.
UMMS agreed to to pay $500k for 100,000 of her Healthy Holly books. To date, 50k Healthy Holly books are “unaccounted” for.
UMMS paid Pugh in advance for four books which had yet to be
written. This makes her one of America’s most successful self-published
Allegedly, 80k Healthy Holly books were printed to be distributed to schools, hospitals, and libraries, with another 20k scheduled to be printed this year.
However, there’s no documentation when or how the books were printed or where they were distributed. (And politicians are usually so good at leaving a paper trail of their crimes.)
Investigators for the Baltimore Sun scoured schools, libraries, bookstores, and child care centers for copies of the book.
They were able to dig up a few copies here and there. But none of the books were being used as “teaching tools” for children. And the vast majority were just gathering dust in warehouses or back rooms (because, again, they’re not very good).
The UMMS governs more than a dozen hospitals that bring in more than $4 billion annually and the members of the board of directors have been quietly lining their pockets with as much of that money as possible.
One board member, a medical doctor, generated more than $300,000 in 2017 from contracts with UMMS.
Another, the owner of an ambulance company, makes more than $100,000 annually through contracts with the system. The list goes on and on.
Read more on Pugh by clicking here.