BALTIMORE (AP) – Attorney General wants the disgraced former Mayor of Baltimore to be sentenced to nearly five years in prison for selling her self-published children’s book Healthy Holly.
In a conviction record filed Thursday, prosecutors told a judge that a 57-month sentence would be an “appropriate and just” sentence for Catherine Pugh’s “long-standing pattern of criminal behavior” and would prevent other politicians from breaking public trust. Pugh pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy and tax evasion under an agreement with prosecutors.
Pugh, an experienced democratic politician, is scheduled to be sentenced in Baltimore on February 27. She was elected mayor in 2016 and resigned under pressure in May.
The case focuses on the lucrative bulk sale of Pugh’s Healthy Holly books to nonprofits and foundations to promote their political careers and fund their run to become mayors. The paperbacks were intended for schools and daycare centers, but it is unclear where tens of thousands of copies ended up.
“The facts show that Pugh, as a Senator for the State of Maryland and Mayor of Baltimore City, has deliberately committed a wide range of offenses,” the prosecutor wrote. “She used the stature of these elected offices to generate fraudulent book sales that generated substantial revenue for her publishing business. Part of it influenced her election campaign in the Mayor’s Office in 2016, in violation of state election laws.”
Pugh’s lawyer, Steven Silverman, told The Associated Press that the former mayor’s defense team “disagreed with the government’s sentencing recommendation.” He said the defense’s recommended punishment would be listed in a separate file that would be published pending a court order.