As reported by Baltimore Sun
The Baltimore City Council on Monday urged Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign, but within hours of the council issuing its call Pugh responded saying she “fully intends” to return once her health improves.
The 14 council members sent a two-sentence letter to Pugh that was released at 7 a.m. urging her to step down and sent copies to Acting Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, City Solicitor Andre Davis, Pugh’s chief of staff Bruce Williams, and Baltimore’s senators and delegates in the General Assembly.
“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore for you to continue to serve as Mayor,” the council members wrote to Pugh. “We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”
The letter comes as Pugh has taken a leave of absence as mayor amid an unfolding scandal over her sales of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books to entities that have business dealings with the city. The state prosecutor has opened an investigation into the book sales.
Shortly before noon Monday, Pugh’s office issued a response saying the leave was for health reasons and that she plans to return to her duties as mayor.
“Mayor Pugh has taken a leave to focus on recovering from pneumonia and regaining her health,” Pugh’s office said in a statement. “She fully intends to resume the duties of her office and continuing her work on behalf of the people and the City of Baltimore.”
In an interview with The Baltimore Sun on Monday, Young said he was not asked to sign the letter and that he would not have done so because it would appear to serve his own interests if he wanted to remain mayor — a job he has repeatedly said he does not want to hold beyond an interim period.
But Young said the council’s “unprecedented” call for a mayor’s resignation will make it difficult for Pugh to return once her illness improves and her doctor clears her to come back.
“Her ability to govern would be very difficult,” Young said. “Let’s face it: How would she get anything done?”