It seems that everyone is “adversely affected” by the coronavirus outbreak, some more so than others. But those are the exact words that the corrupt former mayor of Baltimore, Catherine Pugh, cited in a request for yet another delay in her would-be prison sentence.
Pugh, who was charged with federal conspiracy, tax evasion, and fraud in February, was sentenced to three years in a medium-security penitentiary in Aliceville, Alabama.
In addition, the corrupt lawmaker is to serve three additional years of supervised probation, as well as pay a multitude of fines. She was to report for her upcoming prison sentence on April 13, 2020.
But now, after citing being “adversely affected” by the ongoing virus and the stress it is putting both on the economy and the judicial system, she gets to wait 60 days.
According to the CBS Baltimore, “Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was granted a 60-day extension for the date that she must report to prison in Alabama. Pugh, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion and fraud in the Healthy Holly children’s book scandal, asked for the delay so that she can ‘resolve’ her state perjury charge as the coronavirus pandemic has led to the closure of courts… Pugh had asked for another delay because she’s been ‘adversely affected’ by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her perjury court date was moved to May 14.”
The former mayor and author of children’s book “Healthy Holly” was accused of selling the books to nonprofit organizations in exchange for political favors and career advancement. This scheme supposedly lasted for several years.
According to authorities, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), where she was a member of the board, paid her $500,000 for 100,000 copies of her book. Kaiser Permanente, a health care provider that she rewarded with $48 million city contract later, also bought a vast number of the book, paying Pugh about $114,000.
When allegations of the questionable sales came forward, Pugh took an indefinite leave of absence, claiming health issues, only to resign a month later after being taken to court over her affinity for corruption. In November, she pled guilty to the charges of tax evasion and federal conspiracy and subsequently given her sentence in late February.
However, Pugh has also been charged with perjury against the state of Maryland, which could add years to her sentence, if found guilty. The court date for this separate case was supposed to happen before she officially went to prison. But because of multiple delays in the judicial system at this time, that date has been moved back several times. As of right now, it is scheduled for May 14.
And this is, in part, why Pugh’s defense attorney Andrew White wrote to the court, asking for the 60-day extension.
White wrote, “to require the Defendant (Pugh) to surrender to BOP custody in Alabama, only to then have to be immediately returned to Maryland for the final adjudication of her state law charges, serves no legitimate purpose, unduly burdens the United States Marshals Service in having to unnecessarily transport the Defendant back to Maryland, could cause undue delays in the state court proceedings and frustrates the Defendant’s access to BOP programs that she can benefit from while serving her sentence in a designated facility.”
Additionally, White propositioned that Pugh is reassigned to a prison in Alderson, West Virginia, instead of the one in Alabama. He argues that under President Trump’s First Step Act, prisoners are to be placed in facilities that are as close as possible to their place of residence. And since the Aliceville, Alabama prison is some 850 miles from Baltimore, White says Pugh shouldn’t go there.
This extension will give the court time to decide on this possible change.
In addition, it is rumored that this may also enable the corrupt lawmaker to make good use of her extra time by giving up her former colleagues and other members of the UMMS who, like Pugh, might not be as legit as they claim.
After all, if she cooperates and gives some good intel on the situation, she might be able to get a reduced sentence or something.