The Latest: Medical system gets subpoena in mayoral scandal
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on investigations involving Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (all times local):
Federal prosecutors are seeking evidence from the University of Maryland Medical System as they investigate Baltimore’s embattled mayor.
Spokesman Michael Schwartzberg said in an emailed statement that the medical system received a grand jury witness subpoena Thursday seeking documents and information related to Mayor Catherine Pugh.
Schwartzberg said the system is fully cooperating.
Federal agents searched Pugh’s homes and offices as part of as part of probes into whether she used sales of her children’s books to disguise government kickbacks.
For years, Pugh had sold her self-published children’s books to entities she was involved with as a lawmaker and later as mayor. She sold $500,000 in “Healthy Holly” books to the University of Maryland Medical System. She sat on the system’s board and pushed legislation that would have benefited the $4 billion hospital network.
An attorney for Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh says federal agents came to his city law firm to serve a subpoena for her original financial records.
Steve Silverman says the agents were directed to a sequestered area where Pugh’s documents were kept. He says there was no “search” of the law firm and they did not seek any attorney-client privileged communications with their client. He says the firm complied with the subpoena.
FBI spokesman Dave Fitz earlier confirmed that agents had gone to a building where Pugh’s attorney works.
FBI and IRS agents have conducted searches at multiple locations including City Hall, Pugh’s residences, and a nonprofit.
Silverman says his law firm “will continue to vigorously defend the mayor, who is entitled the presumption of innocence.”
Federal agents have expanded their searches related to embattled Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh to include the work address of one of her attorneys, and the home of one of her aides.
FBI spokesman Dave Fitz said agents had searched Thursday at a building where Pugh’s attorney Steve Silverman works. People at the law office declined to comment but said Silverman would issue a statement.
Fitz also confirmed that agents had searched the home of Gerald Brown, a former Pugh aide recently fired by the interim mayor. He said agents also searched the Maryland Center for Adult Training, which provides job training for unemployed people.
Earlier, authorities said they were searching two of Pugh’s homes and offices inside City Hall.
The searches are part of widening probes to determine whether Pugh used sales of her children’s books to disguise government kickbacks.
The governor of Maryland is calling for the resignation of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.
Gov. Larry Hogan says “Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust” and is “clearly not fit to lead.”
Hogan cites the state probe he directed into Pugh’s financial dealings with the University of Maryland Medical System, and Thursday’s federal raids of her homes and offices as well as the office of her attorney.
He says Baltimore needs strong and responsible leadership now more than ever, so “for the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”
Agents with the FBI and IRS are gathering evidence inside the two homes of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and in City Hall.
FBI spokesman Dave Fitz says multiple agents are “executing court-authorized search warrants” at “both residences and City Hall.”
The mayor’s spokesman, James Bentley, said he has no immediate comment on the Thursday raids. Her attorney Steve Silverman, did not immediately return calls.
Pugh and five of her staffers are now on paid leave amid a scandal over her book sales.