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Mayor Pugh returns $100,000 from book deal to UMMS

Hogan, top lawmakers meet with UMMS officials
Posted at 5:17 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 08:31:19-04

BALTIMORE, Md. — Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has returned $100,000 from a book deal for her children's book 'Healthy Holly' to the University of Maryland Medical System.

According to the UMMS Communications Director, Pugh returned the funds back to the medical system within the past 10 days.

This comes after controversy surrounding funds the hospital spent purchasing 20,000 copies of her books while she sat on the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors.

RELATED: UMMS purchases of Pugh's books labeled as grants

Pugh previously defended her role in the book sales, and stepped down from her UMMS board position on Monday.

The Chairman of UMMS has recently requested four board members who have business relationships with the medical system to immediately take a voluntary leave of absence from the board while they thoroughly review their governance practices and move toward transparency.

“We’re more concerned about the institution and its reputation than we are about people on the board or in management," said Stephen Burch, Chairman of the UMMS Board of Directors. "The institution is by far paramount.”

Two UMMS board members resigned on Tuesday, John W. Dillon and Robert L. Pevenstein, according to UMMS.

Governor Larry Hogan and other state leaders met with the University of Maryland Medical System's President, CEO and the Chair of it's Board on Wednesday. The governor's spokesperson released a statement on what was discussed:

It was a productive meeting where Governor Hogan clearly and emphatically expressed his concerns about conflicts of interest on the board of UMMS. He underlined the importance of addressing the public outcry, and the leaders of UMMS expressed their commitment to act. We will work closely with the legislature on measures to improve oversight and accountability of the board.

Senate President Mike Miller also said the meeting was productive and that new procedures need to be put in place.

“It’s nice you have a board and you have experts on your board but at the same time time the public needs to be assured they are getting the best deal for their dollar.”