Embattled Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D) vowed Monday morning to eventually return to office, even as a growing number of people call for her resignation and legal scrutiny over insider-dealing allegations has intensified.
Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D) is acting as mayor in the absence of Pugh, who took indefinite leave last week, citing medical concerns.
The remaining members of the Baltimore City Council sent a memo dated Monday and titled “Request for Resignation.”
“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore for you to continue to serve as mayor,” the council wrote. “We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”
Hours later, Pugh issued a brief response through her press office.
“Mayor Pugh has taken a leave to focus on recovering from pneumonia and regaining her health. She fully intends to resume the duties of her office and continuing her work on behalf of the people and the City of Baltimore,” the statement read in its entirety.
On Twitter, some council members elaborated.
Councilman Ryan Dorsey (D) said Pugh cannot lead the city while the council continues to probe for more information about Pugh’s actions and the participation of other individuals and organizations.
“We must continue our work, and allow our discovery to translate into even further action to address this broken system,” Dorsey wrote. “It is clear that this cannot happen under Mayor Pugh, and she must dispel immediately the notion that there is any other reality. She must accept that any attempt to re-take her seat as Mayor would do further harm to our City.”
Councilman Zeke Cohen (D) indicated that the council would take other steps as well.
“In addition to this unprecedented step, we are discussing several structural reforms to our city’s code and charter. Baltimore deserves better,” he tweeted.
Councilman Brandon M. Scott (D), seen as a possible candidate for mayor in 2020, tweeted that Pugh should resign “for the sake of Baltimore.”