Almost the entire Baltimore City Council called for Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign after scandal broke of how Pugh was selling her children’s books for hundreds of thousands of dollars to business that “benefited from her official actions,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Fourteen out of the 15 council members said that it was not in the best interest for Pugh to continue to serve and called for her immediate resignation. Councilman Brandon Scott told the newspaper the city would “have a cloud over its head” if she stayed in office. “The city deserves a mayor who can focus on reducing crime, improving schools and restoring trust in government,” Scott said. Pugh previously took an indefinite leave of absence from office due to her recent struggles with pneumonia. A spokesman for Pugh told the Journal that she planned on returning to office when she regained her health.
It was previously reported that Pugh sold her “Healthy Holly” children’s books for distribution in hospitals to the University of Maryland Medical System for $500,000 while she served as a board member and to health insurer Kaiser Permanente for $100,000. Kaiser Permanente later got a $48 million contract from the city's spending board after the sale. The state prosecutor’s office and the city's Board of Ethics are reportedly investigating Pugh’s conduct.