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Bonuses on hold for UMMS board executives

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Posted at 1:24 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 13:24:11-04

BALTIMORE, Md. — Senior executives on the University of Maryland Medical System board will not be getting their usual performance-based bonuses, the system’s CEO announced Tuesday.

“In addition to the affirmative steps the UMMS Board has taken since concerns were raised,” UMMS Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Senior Vice President John Ashworth said in a statement. “I have made the decision to not distribute performance-based corporate system senior executive bonuses until the independent review is complete and results interpreted. The corporate executive team members will receive the standard 1-2 percent cost of living increase.”

READ MORE: See all of WMAR-2 News' coverage of the "Healthy Holly" controversy

The board is under increased scrutiny after controversy erupted when it was discovered Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh had negotiated several no-bid contracts to sell five runs of her “Healthy Holly” children’s book series to the hospital system, who in turn said they would donate the books to Baltimore City Schools. The fallout from this initial revelation has metastasized to other board members and organizations that do business with the hospital, prompting state level investigations and a review of UMMS policy by an outside auditing agency. The Maryland General Assembly passed a billto reform the ethics policies of the board before the 2019 session ended.

Pugh has been the focus of much of the scrutiny since the initial revelations, as the Baltimore City Council, the city’s state level legislative delegation, and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot have all called on her to step down.

Pugh remains defiant of such requests. Though she is on leave from the mayor’s office currently due to illness, she said she plans on returning to her post at the helm of the city.