After Book Deal Scandal, Feds Search Homes of Baltimore Mayor and City Hall
By David McFadden
Federal agents executed search warrants Thursday morning at two homes belonging to Baltimore’s embattled mayor and at City Hall.
Dave Fitz, an FBI spokesman out of the agency’s Baltimore office, says agents with the FBI and the IRS criminal division in Washington were “executing court-authorized search warrants” at “both residences and City Hall.” He said he couldn’t immediately release more information because the search warrants are sealed.
Mayor Catherine Pugh’s spokesman, James Bentley, said he has no immediate comment. Pugh’s defense attorney, Steve Silverman, did not immediately return calls.
Pugh has been facing mounting calls for her to resign over a scandal that involves the sale of her children’s books to entities that do business with the city. She was already already facing a criminal investigation by the state prosecutor’s office, which began at the request of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, as well as probes by the Baltimore Inspector General, an ethics board at City Hall and a state insurance commission.
It’s been more than three weeks since Pugh slipped out of sight, citing deteriorating health from a pneumonia bout. Five of her staffers have since joined her on paid leave.
Pugh said she was going on leave on the same day Hogan asked for the investigation of lucrative sales of her “Healthy Holly” books to customers, including a major hospital network she once helped oversee as a state lawmaker and a health plan that does business with the city.