Larry Hogan says Catherine Pugh should leave office for the good of the city following FBI raid of her homes and city hall
Marylands governor has called on the mayor of Baltimore to resign.
The states governor, Larry Hogan, a Republican, called on Thursday morning for Catherine Pugh to leave office for the good of the city.
Agents with the FBI and Internal Revenue Service carried out a raid on Baltimore city hall and two homes belonging to the mayor on Thursday morning, amid widening investigations to determine whether she used sales of her childrens books to disguise government kickbacks.
Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust and was clearly not fit to lead, Hogan added.
Dave Fitz, an FBI spokesman, confirmed to the local paper that search warrants were being executed at those locations early on Thursday morning, according to a Baltimore Sun report.
Pugh had previously stepped aside temporarily following a growing scandal involving her sales of self-published childrens books, and amid declining public confidence.
The troubled city is still embroiled in the fallout of shattered trust between many neighborhoods in the city and the police department following the death of a young African American man, Freddie Gray, after being transported in a police van in 2015.
The city is currently under the acting mayorship of Bernard C Jack Young.
The mayors spokesman, James Bentley, said he has no immediate comment on the 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.
She has been facing mounting calls for her to resign over a scandal involving her self-published childrens books, which she sold to a company that does business with the city, as well as to the University of Maryland Medical System, on whose board she sat while serving as a state lawmaker.
Pugh sold $500,000 worth of the books to the $4bn hospital network over the years, and meanwhile pushed legislation that would have benefited the regional system.
The federal case comes amid a criminal investigation by the state prosecutors office, which began at the request of the governor, Hogan, as well as investigations by the Baltimore inspector general, an ethics board at city hall and the state insurance commission.
Pughs defense attorney, Steve Silverman, did not immediately return calls; his office routed calls to an answering machine. Yellow police tape surrounded her home as agents searched inside.
City solicitor Andre Davis said city hall was cooperating fully with federal investigators.
It has been more than three weeks since Pugh slipped out of sight, citing deteriorating health from a pneumonia bout. Pugh said she was going on leave on the same day Hogan asked for the investigation of her Healthy Holly book sales, which earned about $800,000 for her limited liability company.
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