Baltimore mayor returns $100K from $500K book deal with U of Maryland Medical System

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh missed several public appearances March 20 amid criticism over a $500,000 book deal she had with the University of Maryland Medical System while sitting on the Baltimore-based system's board of directors, according to CBS Baltimore.

Five things to know:

1. A city employee sat in for the mayor during one public appearance after Ms. Pugh called in sick and canceled her weekly news conference.

2. Ms. Pugh is facing criticism for engaging in a $500,000 deal with UMMS through which the health system agreed to purchase and distribute her children's book series to city schools. A spokesperson for the mayor told CBS Baltimore that Ms. Pugh has returned $100,000 of her profit and that the books are sitting in a district warehouse.

3. Ms. Pugh and two other individuals resigned from UMMS' board of directors earlier this week after news reports surfaced of their business deals with the health system. Four other board members took a voluntary leave of absence.

4. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he was "shocked, outraged and appalled" over UMMS board members' deals with the system, and he held a meeting March 20 with legislative and UMMS leaders. His office released the following statement after the meeting:

"It was a productive meeting where Governor Hogan clearly and emphatically expressed his concerns about conflicts of interest on the board of UMMS. He underlined the importance of addressing the public outcry, and the leaders of UMMS expressed their commitment to act. We will work closely with the legislature on measures to improve oversight and accountability on the board."

5. Stephen Burch, chairman of UMMS' board of directors, said during a news conference after the meeting that the board will meet March 21 about the institution's next steps.

"We are more concerned about the institution and its reputation than we are about people and the board," he said, according to the Ctpost.

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