Former Mayor Catherine Pugh has been hit with an additional charge – a single count of perjury – for not disclosing her “Healthy Holly” children’s book business while she was a state senator from West Baltimore.
The new charge, filed in Anne Arundel County, was announced by the Office of the State Prosecutor today.
Pugh was required to disclose her interests in any limited liability company or other businesses entity from which she earned income throughout her tenure in the Maryland Senate.
In filling the charge, the State Prosecutor noted that while Pugh routinely disclosed her business relationship to other companies that she owned or operated – Catherine E. Pugh & Co. and 2 Chic Boutique LLC – she did not disclose her interest in Healthy Holly LLC.
The charges allege that Pugh earned at least $345,000 in income in 2016 through sales of the books.
Financial disclosure forms required of elected representatives and certain state employees are filed with the Maryland State Ethics Commission and signed under the penalties of perjury.
“Transparency from our elected officials is an essential aspect of protecting Maryland residents from corruption and political malfeasance,” said State Prosecutor Charlton Howard in an emailed statement. “Our office is committed to ensuring that those who abuse positions of trust in our state and local governments are held accountable by the State of Maryland.”
Last month Pugh pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, and two counts of tax evasion.
Federal prosecutors said she conspired to illegally hide profits from the sales of her children’s books in order to enhance her political campaign, to buy and renovate a new house, and for other personal uses.