After news of her indictment broke, former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty to four of the 11 charges brought against her in the fallout of her Healthy Holly series scandal.
A judge accepted Pugh’s guilty plea, as she reportedly admitted to taking $100,000 from a businessman—supposedly for Healthy Holly payments—only to buy herself a bigger home in order to entertain guests once she became mayor.
She also admitted to using Healthy Holly money to fund her mayoral campaign through straw donations and lying about her taxable income.
“This was a scheme that was sophisticated and complicated, and the people who were involved in the conspiracy, Mayor Pugh and Mr. (Gary) Brown, they took steps to conceal what was going on,” U.S. Attorney Robert Hur told reporters after the hearing.
The ex-mayor was released on her own recognizance, although she did have to surrender her passport.
Pugh faces up to 35 years for the charges and is due to be sentenced in February.
“This has been a challenging process for former Mayor Pugh,” Pugh’s lawyer, Steven Silverman said in a statement to WBALTV. “After careful consideration of the charges brought against her, Ms. Pugh has decided to forego a long trial. Such a trial would drain essential government resources and cause further distraction from the serious issues our region faces.”
“Ms. Pugh sincerely apologizes to all of those that she let down, most especially the citizens of Baltimore whom she had the honor to serve in multiple capacities for decades,” the statement added.