Former Baltimore mayor sentenced to 3 years in prison

Pugh used her position for her own personal gain.

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh refers to this swindling embezzlement mess as an “error.” What a joke.

An error doesn’t keep repeating itself over and over again. Pugh was sentenced to three years in prison for taking part in a pay-to-play scheme. As for the way I think, the prosecutors have it right. Pugh should also lose all retirement benefits if she has any.

Pugh’s vision as mayor wasn’t to enhance the city, it was to see her bank account prosper and grow. She not only betrayed her oath by lying to constituents and her colleagues, but she also stole the citizens’ money.

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The scandal has shaken Maryland’s largest city, which for years has struggled with grinding poverty, political mismanagement, record crime rates and police abuses that led to massive riots. And it made a mockery of Catherine Pugh’s inaugural promise to restore trust in Baltimore’s leaders.

Pugh was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release after getting out of prison. She pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges in November. The veteran Democratic politician was elected mayor in 2016 and resigned under pressure in May as authorities investigated bulk sales of her “Healthy Holly” paperbacks, which netted her hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Federal authorities accused Pugh, 69, of double selling the books, keeping many for self-promotion purposes and failing to deliver them to institutions they were purchased for, including the Baltimore City Public Schools. Pugh used the proceeds to fund straw donations to her mayoral campaign and buy a new house.

Prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow to sentence the former mayor to nearly five years in prison, while her attorneys suggested a term of one year and a day. [Associated Press]

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Books are politicians’ way of avoiding taxes and hiding the side money they get from corporations and supporters. Write a book and get write-offs for its losses or “best-selling” books in the dump.

My mother’s family has been in Baltimore since 1931. When a woman like this came along claiming Baltimore was in need of reconstruction, then comes in and first steals the Christmas Gift Cards that were meant for poor children, even jail seems like an easy sentence.

I am positive Pugh is not alone in the corruption of the Baltimore leaders. Hopefully, she flipped and we will see more government officials from Baltimore get charged.

Baltimore needs a good leader but there is no one of good character running for office. It’s sad. Pugh used her position for her own personal gain; and to think other colleagues were writing to judges to give her a lighter sentence. Are you for the city of Baltimore or against it?

This piece originally appeared on WayneDupree.com and is used by permission.

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Wayne Dupree is owner and founder of WayneDupree.com. He was named to 2017 Newsmax’s 50 Most Influential African-American Republicans. He served in the USAF from 1987-1995; he saw time in Operation Desert Storm/Shield. The father of three, he's the host of "The Wayne Dupree Show."

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