Updated, February 27, 2020, 1:02 p.m.: Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was sentenced to three years in prison for scandal behind her Healthy Holly children’s book series, which ended in her being convicted of federal fraud and tax charges, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Prosecutors had sought almost five years, while Pugh’s attorneys asked for leniency at one year and a day.
U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow handed down the less-than-lenient sentence slamming Pugh for the seriousness of her crimes.
“I have yet frankly to hear any explanation that makes sense,” the judge said, according to the Sun. “This was not a tiny mistake, lapse of judgment. This became a very large fraud. The nature and circumstances of this offense clearly I think are extremely, extremely serious.”
Earlier: Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh will face sentencing on Thursday after pleading guilty to tax evasion, wire fraud, and conspiracy last November.
Ahead of her sentencing, Pugh’s legal team shared an almost 13-minute video in which Pugh apologized repeatedly for her actions, stemming from the scandal surrounding her self-published Healthy Holly series, CBS Baltimore reports.
“I know better who I am, but I also know where I am and I accept responsibility, I accept total responsibility,” Pugh said in the video. “I pled guilty. I’m sorry. I don’t know any other words that could be stronger. I’m so sorry, I really am sorry.”
“When I think about me and my capacity and my capabilities and all of the things I’ve been able to do, I said, ‘How did you end up here? How did you mess this up?’” Pugh added at the end of the video in a voice-over, as she looks down remorsefully hands clasped over her face. “I messed up. I really messed up.”
Pugh’s attorney said that the video was submitted to the court after she pleaded guilty.
Pugh faces up to 30 years in prison, however, according to the Baltimore Sun, Pugh is requesting a sentence of one year and one day. Prosecutors have suggested for almost five years.