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Mayor Catherine Pugh to take leave of absence during 'Healthy Holly' controversy

Baltimore City Council President Young to take over as mayor
Posted: 4:33 PM, Apr 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-02 13:06:31Z
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BALTIMORE, Md. — WMAR-2 News has confirmed that Mayor Catherine Pugh will take a leave of absence as mayor of Baltimore during the controversy regarding her children's book, "Healthy Holly."

Baltimore City Council President Jack Young will take over as acting mayor during the mayor's leave.

This comes moments after, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called for an investigation into University of Maryland Medical System's $500,000 purchase of books from Mayor Pugh's business Healthy Holly LLC.

READ MORE: Hogan calls for investigation into 'Healthy Holly' controversy surrounding Pugh and UMMS

Officials from the Mayor's office released a statement saying the leave is due to Pugh's "deteriorating health" as she needs time to recover from pneumonia. They say she feels she is unable to fulfill her duties as mayor, hence her indefinite leave.

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh has been battling pneumonia for the past few weeks. She has been advised by her physicians that she needs to take time to recover and focus on her health. At this time, with the Mayor’s health deteriorating, she feels as though she is unable to fulfill her obligations as Mayor of Baltimore City. To that end, Mayor Pugh will be taking an indefinite leave of absence to recuperate from this serious illness. Article IV, Section 2 of the Baltimore City Charter states that “{[i]n case of, and during, sickness, temporary disqualification or necessary absence of the Mayor, the President of the City Council shall be ex officio Mayor of the City.” In Mayor Pugh’s absence, City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young will take over the daily operations of City government as ex officio Mayor of Baltimore City.

Council President Young also issued a statement on the Mayor's leave of absence:

I am utterly heartbroken by the developments that have unfolded over the past several weeks. I pray that Mayor Pugh continues to recover from her illness. She has been advised by her physicians that she needs to take time to recover and focus on her health. At this time, with the Mayor’s health deteriorating, she feels as though she is unable to fulfill her obligations as Mayor. To that end, Mayor Pugh will be taking a temporary leave of absence, effective at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, April 2.

Congressman Elijah Cummings issued a statement in response to the mayor's leave of absence:

I am pleased that this matter is being addressed by the appropriate authorities and I wish Mayor Pugh a speedy recovery as she continues to recuperate. I want everyone to remain focused on the fact that there are thousands of good people doing important work every single day to make Baltimore a better place to live and work. There is no doubt we are experiencing some difficult times now, but we cannot lose hope or confidence in our ability to be the architects and builders of the kind of city, nation and world we dream of for ourselves and those yet unborn. I ask that you join me in giving Council President Young our full support and thank him for stepping into the role of Acting Mayor. It is not a role he sought, but I am confident he will do a fine job.

According to Article IV, Section 2 of the Baltimore City Charter, “{[i]n case of, and during, sickness temporary disqualification or necessary absence of the Mayor, the President of the City Council shall be ex officio Mayor of the City.”