Posted on April 26, 2019

FBI, IRS Search Baltimore Mayor Pugh’s Home, City Hall, More

Jayne Miller, Jennifer Franciotti, et al., WBAL-TV, April 26, 2019

The FBI and IRS executed search warrants Thursday at several locations in Baltimore, including Mayor Catherine Pugh’s homes and City Hall.

Pugh’s attorney, Steven Silverman, said the mayor is not lucid and that she still suffers from pneumonia and has since developed bronchitis.


Several agents from the Baltimore Office of the FBI and the Criminal Division of the IRS executed a search warrant approved several days ago by a federal judge. The agents searched Pugh’s home on Ellamont Road in northwest Baltimore, which she purchased apparently with cash in December 2016 for $117,000 without a mortgage.

The agents were seen entering and exiting the home, as well as garages that may belong to the home or a neighboring home. Agents retrieved a large boxes from the property, some labeled “Healthy Holly books.”

Pugh drew scrutiny after it was learned that she purchased the home during the same time period that the University of Maryland Medical System paid her nearly $250,000 through her Healthy Holly LLC for tens of thousands of children’s books. The 11 News I-Team has learned the deal has little public accounting.

Pugh’s LLC received $100,000 from the medical system in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, and in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, according to state filings.


Agents search several locations linked to Pugh

Around the corner from the Ellamont house, agents served a search warrant at the home Pugh has owned since 1988 that she uses for her business address. Neighbors said they have not seen Pugh at the home for about five weeks.

Another set of agents executed a search warrant at 4910 Park Heights Ave., which is used by the nonprofit Maryland Center for Adult Training, which has ties to Pugh. On its board were three top aides to the mayor, who have subsequently been fired by Ex-Officio Mayor Jack Young.

The FBI also executed a search warrant at the home of Gary Brown Jr., one Pugh’s aides who was fired Wednesday. Brown was prosecuted by state prosecutors in 2016 for illegal campaign contributions to the Pugh campaign in 2016.

Nearly two dozen agents were also at City Hall, where they were seen removing boxes of potential evidence related to Pugh.


The FBI/IRS also executed a search warrant at the offices of lawyers representing Pugh, a source familiar told the 11 News I-Team. It is very unusual for a lawyer’s office to get searched, and there is a very high bar for agents to cross to get a judge to authorize such a search because lawyers have many clients who are all protected by confidentiality provisions. In order for the agents to go into that office with a search warrant, they have to be seeking something very specific and limited.


So far, no charges have been filed.

When asked whether Pugh has any intention to resign, and whether he would advise her to do so, Silverman said, “I intended to have a conversation with the mayor today before today’s events unfolded, and hope to address that shortly.”

Silverman said the mayor, under her current condition, is not focused enough to make a rational decision.

Renewed calls for mayor to resign

The developments Thursday have further increased calls for Pugh to resign, including from the governor.

Gov. Larry Hogan released a statement, saying: {snip} “For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”

The City Council had already called on Pugh to resign before the FBI and IRS searches. Members repeated that call Thursday morning.


U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings is a longtime friend of Pugh’s. They marched together to try and bring peace during the 2015 riots. He stopped short of asking her to resign.