In wake of scandal, U. Md. Medical System adopts new conflict of interest policy

After a lucrative children’s book deal resulted in the FBI raiding Baltimore’s City Hall, a medical board in Maryland is setting new guidelines to avoid any conflicts of interest involving its board members.

As the dust settles from the scandal involving former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, the University of Maryland Medical System’s board has announced new policies aimed at preventing conflicts of interest involving board members.

This comes after Pugh — also a former board member — was accused of selling thousands of copies of her children’s book to the system and other companies connected to the system. An investigation into those sales is ongoing. Pugh resigned as Baltimore’s mayor on May 2, 2019, after an extended medical leave of absence while the controversy unraveled.

The new policies — which take effect July 1 — include an end to sole source contracting with board members, a system for identifying and investigating potential conflicts of interest and a requirement that board members disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

“This is another major step forward as we improve board governance, change corporate culture and put UMMS on a strong path forward,” Interim President and CEO of UMMS John Ashworth said in a statement. “We thank the legislators for their work in guiding this policy during the session and helping us focus on providing a sound, long-term foundation for a sustainable, effective Board.”

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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