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Pugh's lawyers ask for year in jail in response to feds recommendation

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Posted at 12:20 PM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 08:30:35-05

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Lawyers representing former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh are asking for a prison sentence of nearly four-years less than what federal prosecutors are recommending in the Healthy Holly scandal.

On Friday, Pugh's attorneys filed a sentencing memorandum asking the federal judge overseeing the case to sentence Pugh to only one year and a day behind bars, followed by home detention and supervised release.

Pugh's attorneys say she is "humbled, penitent, and remorseful" for her crimes, and acknowledges that her criminal conduct was "serious and betrayed the values she spent a lifetime advocating and pursuing."

The attorneys cite Pugh's resignation as Mayor.

"Ms. Pugh is paying a tremendously heavy price for her crimes. Her actions have caused significant pain, embarrassment, and shame for her and her family. The consequences are lifelong and cannot be undone. She has ruined a reputation that took a lifetime to build, and foreclosed any future elected public service. Having spent much of her life serving her Baltimore City community and the State of Maryland in a myriad of ways, she is now too ashamed to spend any time in the community that she loves," lawyers said on her behalf.

RELATED: Feds recommend nearly five years in jail for Pugh

Though prosecutors charge that Pugh's conduct began all the way back 2011, her lawyers claim it was an "uncharacteristic deviation from an otherwise law- abiding life dedicated to serving others."

Pugh's lawyers say the sentencing guidelines in her case of fraud "significantly overstates the seriousness of the offense."

At 70-years-old, Pugh's lawyers argue the case has "caused her tremendous psychological and physical harm."

Her attorneys say she is not a risk to re-offend.

"The collateral consequences that Ms. Pugh has suffered as a result of her offenses – including the loss of a career in public service, the stigma of forever being branded a felon, and being publicly disgraced – are severe and permanent. They ensure that Ms. Pugh will never re-offend."

In her defense, Pugh's lawyers also reference the First Step Act, recently passed by congress, which "specifically encourages courts to utilize home confinement for elderly offenders who pose no danger or risk of recidivism," her lawyers said.

Pugh pleaded guilty on November 21, to wire fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and two counts of tax evasion, related to the Healthy Holly book scandal.

She's scheduled to be sentenced on February 27.

Pugh Sentencing Memorandum[1] by Wmar Web on Scribd