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Baltimore mayor defends deal to sell books to medical system she helps govern

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh addresses a gathering during the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston, Friday, June 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s mayor is defending a deal to sell her self-published books for $100,000 to the University of Maryland Medical System, on whose board of directors she sits.

Board positions are unpaid, but The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday that around a third of the board receives compensation through the hospital network’s contracts with their businesses. The Maryland Senate’s Finance Committee is considering a bill to bar the practice.

Pugh’s early Thursday statement says UMMS wanted to provide free “Health Holly: Exercising is Fun” books to 20,000 Baltimore students. The network purchased the books from Pugh’s company “at a modest cost of $5 each.” She says her company’s net profit was $20,000 in each year the network purchased the books, after production and shipping costs.

Pugh says she’s conformed with disclosure requirements.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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