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Former Baltimore mayor expected to plead guilty to perjury


ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Baltimore’s disgraced former mayor who already has been sentenced to three years in federal prison in a scandal over her “Healthy Holly” children's books touting exercise and nutrition is expected to plead guilty to a state perjury charge, Maryland's state prosecutor confirmed Tuesday.

Catherine Pugh is expected to enter the guilty plea to the misdemeanour charge at a June 19 hearing in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, said State Prosecutor Charlton Howard.

“As indicated in the order of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court scheduling a plea hearing on June 19th, I anticipate Ms. Pugh will enter a guilty plea on that date,” Howard wrote in an email. “Of course, Ms. Pugh may change her mind prior to, or during the course of, the June 19th hearing, as is the right of every criminal defendant.”

Pugh, a Democrat, is scheduled to report to federal prison later this month. Last year, she pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges relating to her self-published children’s book called “Healthy Holly.”

The perjury charge relates to Pugh’s failure to disclose her business interest in Healthy Holly, LLC on her financial disclosure forms when she was a Maryland state senator.

She faces up to 10 years in prison on the perjury charge.

Andrew White, Pugh's attorney, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Pugh served in the Maryland Senate from 2007 to 2016, when she was elected Baltimore's mayor. She resigned as mayor under pressure last year as authorities investigated bulk sales of her paperbacks, which netted her hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Pugh earned at least $345,000 in income in 2016 through sales of her books, but failed to mention her ownership in financial disclosure forms, which are filed with the Maryland State Ethics Commission and signed under the penalties of perjury, according to the state prosecutor's office.

Brian Witte, The Associated Press

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