Bryan P. Sears//April 8, 2019
//April 8, 2019
Backing the unanimous call of the Baltimore City Council, members of the Baltimore City contingent in the House of Delegates called on Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign.
The announcement Monday night in the State House is the latest sign of dwindling political support for Pugh, who is just two years into her first term.
Pugh announced she was taking an indefinite leave of absence a week ago, citing health concerns as she battles pneumonia. Her leave also comes amid rising scrutiny and investigations involving $500,000 in payments to her on a no-contract deal with the University of Maryland Medical System for a series of children’s books.
A spokesman for Pugh said the mayor plans to return as soon as she is healthy enough to do so, something Del. Cheryl Glenn, D-Baltimore and chairwoman of the city delegation to the House, said should not happen.
“The position of mayor is not a revolving door,” said Glenn. “Mayor Pugh took an indefinite leave of absence. Jack Young, our ex officio mayor, stepped in and is doing a great job.
“We would encourage her to reconsider (returning) because we do not believe it’s in the best interest of the city of Baltimore or the progress we need to make collectively together,” said Glenn, adding that if Pugh returned many felt she may leave again before the end of her term.
Earlier Monday, the full City Council unanimously called for Pugh to resign.
In the last week, members of the city delegation have expressed concern about Pugh but were hesitant to call for her to resign.
“Once the city council, who has to work with the mayor day in and day out, unanimously came together and and made a decision, we thought we needed to stand in solidarity with them because we are the state legislative body in the House of Delegates,” said Glenn.
The announcement in the State House also served notice to Pugh that she was on the outs with lawmakers, many of whom she served with during her time in the House and Senate. Glenn said the delegation had not spoken with Pugh prior to meeting with reporters.
“It’s always difficult to take a position against someone who we supported,” said Glenn. “We wish her well and hope she will take the time to take care of whatever business she needs to take care of. We don’t feel it would be prudent for her to return and possibly leave again.
“We hope (Pugh) will do what’s best for the city of Baltimore,” said Glenn.