You might remember a story Twitchy posted earlier this week about Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and her side business, running a publishing house for a series of children’s books that she herself writes.

Pugh’s “Healthy Holly” series really seemed to be in demand. The University of Maryland Medical System quickly bought up 100,000, racking up a tidy profit of $500,000 for Mayor Pugh. Oh, and one more thing; Pugh was sitting on the board of UMMS at the time of the transaction.

Although intrepid reporters did track down 8,700 unsolicited and unopened boxes of “Health Holly” books at a decrepit Baltimore School District Warehouse, no one could seem to find anyone who’d actually just, you know, bought a copy.

ProPublica’s Alec MacGillis, who’s been following the story, says that’s no surprise: no one bought any.

Best of all, get this: the mayor is calling inquiries into her relationship with the UMMS board a “witch hunt”:

“All my income is reported to the IRS and everything is filed,” Pugh said in a telephone interview with The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t know what witch hunt y’all are on, but it’s done. I’ve got 1099s and I pay my taxes and everything is filed.”

In the interview, Pugh said she decided to return $100,000 to the medical system because she is still working on her latest book — “Healthy Holly: Walking With My Family” — and wanted to fully “settle” her relationship with UMMS after resigning from the board.

She said she believed she sent 21,000 books to the Baltimore City Public School System, which she called the result of an agreement with schools officials.

“Many of the elementary schools around the city should have received them,” the mayor told The Sun. “I don’t know why they haven’t distributed them.”

Schools officials have said that they received an “unsolicited” shipment of an unknown number of books from Pugh sometime between 2011 and 2013, but that they have not been able to locate any documentation related to the shipment.

Yeah, that all sounds on the up-and-up. And now we can’t wait to read “Healthy Holly: Walking With My Family.” She could have told her illustrator how well the book was selling, though:

Word is her campaign dipped into her “Healthy Holly” earnings, which again, were all from the UMMS while she was a board member.

Thanks to the popularity of “Healthy Holly,” Baltimore’s not known just for record homicides anymore.


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