US: Maryland auditors say UMMS 'hindered' their investigation sparked by Baltimore mayor's 'Healthy Holly' scandal - - PressFrom - US
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US Maryland auditors say UMMS 'hindered' their investigation sparked by Baltimore mayor's 'Healthy Holly' scandal

03:57  20 november  2019
03:57  20 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

Maryland State Police sergeant charged with misconduct in office

  Maryland State Police sergeant charged with misconduct in office A Maryland State Police sergeant has been charged with misconduct in office, the Office of the State Prosecutor announced Tuesday. The prosecutor's office said a Wicomico County Grand Jury indicted Michael McComas, a sergeant with the Maryland State Police, with misconduct in office for notifying a civilian state police employee of a search-and-seizure warrant was going to be executed by the state police on the employee's residence. Sign up forThe prosecutor's office said a Wicomico County Grand Jury indicted Michael McComas, a sergeant with the Maryland State Police, with misconduct in office for notifying a civilian state police employee of a search-and-seizure warrant was going to be executed by the state police on

TIMELINE: Mayor Pugh Healthy Holly Investigation . It’s been a long couple of weeks, with more questions than answers in some cases. Search Underway For Baltimore Mayor ’ s Books Sold To Hospital. Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot calls for an independent audit , saying it was “urgent”.

Amid Scandal , Baltimore Mayor Takes Indefinite, Health -Related Leave. UMMS is a private nonprofit for which Pugh served as a board member until That same day, Pugh' s legal team confirmed federal agents also visited their offices seeking "original financial records belonging to Mayor Catherine Pugh

BALTIMORE — State auditors tasked with investigating the University of Maryland Medical System after a self-dealing scandal involving its board of directors have complained UMMS “delayed and hindered” their work, requiring an extension of their deadline to produce a report to the General Assembly.

Catherine Pugh wearing a white shirt: Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh during a City Hall news conference on March 28, 2019.© Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh during a City Hall news conference on March 28, 2019.

“Throughout this process the Corporation has delayed and hindered our work by repeatedly failing to make employees available and failing to provide requested information on a timely basis,” Maryland Legislative Auditor Gregory Hook wrote Oct. 31 to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones in a letter obtained by The Baltimore Sun.

Former Baltimore mayor charged with wire fraud over self-published book deal

  Former Baltimore mayor charged with wire fraud over self-published book deal Former Baltimore mayor charged with wire fraud over self-published book dealThe charges against the Democrat and former state lawmaker relate to her dealings with the University of Maryland Medical System, of which she was a board member, and which paid her for her children’s books about a character named “Healthy Holly.

BALTIMORE — Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, who is under state and federal investigation over lucrative sales of her self-published children’ s books, resigned Thursday, plunging this already rattled city into another political crisis. Pugh (D), a former state legislator, has faced public scrutiny since March

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is refusing to resign over a scandal surrounding children’ s books she authored despite a unanimous call from the city Larry Hogan asked for an investigation into Pugh about the hundreds of thousands of dollars of payments she received for her self-published “ Healthy

UMMS interim President and CEO John Ashworth responded that UMMS officials have “always endeavored to work collaboratively and transparently” with the Office of Legislative Audits and “look forward to the issuance of their report.”

“The scope of the OLA audit was comprehensive and required the commitment of countless labor hours and the production of many thousands of documents on the part of UMMS,” Ashworth said in a statement.

Lawmakers in Annapolis required Hook’s office to investigate the University of Maryland Medical System Corp. as part of legislation passed after The Sun reported beginning in March that a third of the 30-member board had lucrative contacts with the system — including then-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. The hospital network paid the Democrat $500,000 for 100,000 copies of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books.

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  Former Baltimore Mayor indicted on 11-counts of fraud, tax evasion charges The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland has charged former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh with 11 counts of Wire Fraud and Tax charges related to the selling of her children's book series Healthy Holly. “Our elected officials must place the interests of the citizens above their own,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Corrupt public employees rip off the taxpayers and undermine everyone’s faith in government.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will zealously pursue those who abuse the taxpayers’ trust and bring them to justice.

Mayor Catherine Pugh has been on indefinite leave as a corruption probe examines sales of her children' s books to companies doing A Baltimore Sun investigation earlier this year revealed that Pugh earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from her self-published “ Healthy Holly ” children’ s book

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh of Baltimore received payments from health care companies for copies of her “ Healthy Holly ” series of children’s On Monday afternoon, a statement from the mayor ’ s office said that Ms. Pugh had been suffering from pneumonia in recent weeks and had decided to step

The revelations, followed by FBI and Internal Revenue Service raids at City Hall and Pugh’s homes, led to Pugh’s resignation from office. At UMMS, CEO Robert Chrencik stepped down, as did several other executives, the board chairman and several other board members. The General Assembly passed a bill that required Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to replace the rest of the board by the end of the year.

UMMS is a private network of more than a dozen hospitals across Maryland. It receives substantial state funding, and its governance is controlled by top lawmakers and the governor. Ashworth became interim CEO when Chrencik left; Dr. Mohan Suntha, who has led the system’s University of Maryland Medical Center since 2016, will become the new, permanent CEO on Dec. 1.

Lawmakers ordered the investigation by the state Office of Legislative Audits as an independent alternative to an in-house audit by a UMMS contractor. That review, released in June, found many of the board-related contracts in question were reached without a competitive bidding process — including Pugh’s.

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore ' s embattled mayor announced Monday that she is taking an indefinite leave of absence, just as a political scandal intensifies Larry Hogan said allegations facing Pugh and her questionable no-contract arrangements to sell her " Healthy Holly " children' s books are "deeply

Amid Scandal , Baltimore Mayor Takes Indefinite, Health -Related Leave. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh' s office says she needs to take time to recover from pneumonia. Pugh was a board member of UMMS until her resignation on March 18. Two other board members resigned a day earlier.

After The Sun inquired about the progress of the audit with one month remaining to the original Dec. 15 deadline, Hook provided copies of his October letter to the General Assembly’s presiding officers and their response granting the extension.

In the letter to Miller and Jones, both Democrats, Hook wrote the “field portion” of his office’s work concluded “with several questions still unanswered” despite efforts by Miller and Jones’ chiefs of staff to intervene and assist the auditors in getting UMMS officials to cooperate.

The Office of Legislative Audits still has “a significant amount of work that needs to be done prior to issuing a formal report, including finalizing the work papers, developing specific findings, developing the report format, writing the report, meeting with the Corporation to discuss the findings, and subjecting the project to the Office’s extensive internal quality assurance process,” Hook wrote.

Hook asked for an extension until March 13, three months past the original deadline, for his office to deliver the forensic audit to lawmakers. Miller and Jones granted that request earlier this month.

The Latest: Signs of a plea deal for ex-Baltimore mayor

  The Latest: Signs of a plea deal for ex-Baltimore mayor BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on the fraud and tax evasion case against disgraced former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (all times local): 12:45 p.m. Facing fraud charges, disgraced former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has an arraignment scheduled before a district court judge instead of a magistrate judge, which typically means a defendant intends to plead guilty. The arraignment comes as news outlets, citing anonymous sources, report Pugh has reached a plea agreement.One of Pugh’s attorneys, Steven Silverman, didn’t immediately return an email and phone call seeking comment Thursday. A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Robert Hur’s office declined to comment on Pugh’s case.

Following an investigation stemming from a children' s book scandal , Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced her resignation Thursday via a statement from her attorney.

TIMELINE: Mayor Catherine Pugh’ s Healthy Holly Scandal . The mayor was on the UMMS board at the time. In the wake of the scandal , Maryland ’ s General Chrencik’ s resignation comes after the system received a federal subpoena related to an investigation into Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Hook declined to comment beyond what was outlined in his letter. Jake Weissmann, Miller’s chief of staff, also said “we’re going to let the letter speak for itself.”

Alex Hughes, the House speaker’s chief of staff, declined to comment.

Hogan’s office could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The state auditors began their field work at UMMS’ offices in April.

“We are actually out there doing the work,” Hook told The Sun in May.

In his recent letter, Hook said 37 staff members had collectively conducted 600 days of work covered by the review, while his office’s data analytics unit spent “countless days sifting and analyzing electronic records.”

During that work, Hook wrote, they “identified a number of transactions related either directly or indirectly” to current or former UMMS board members.

“For many months, our Office has been actively seeking access to Corporation employees with potential knowledge of the transactions and the related procurement and contract monitoring processes,” he wrote. “In addition, our Office has sought records related to these events, including original contract documents.”

Hook wrote that he hoped that even with the extension, the General Assembly would have time “to review the report and take any additional action it deems necessary” based on the findings. The new deadline falls in the middle of the 2020 legislative session, which runs from Jan. 8 to April 6.

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©2019 The Baltimore Sun

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The case against Catherine Pugh: Her ‘Healthy Holly’ problem wasn’t sloppy bookkeeping. It was corruption. .
When the scandal involving then-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s self-published children’s books broke last spring, she was adamant she had done nothing wrong. Any issues concerning her little-known side business selling the clumsily edited “Healthy Holly” series could be explained by sloppiness, not corruption, she argued. Why hadn’t she fully disclosed her business dealings? An aide must have messed up her ethics forms, she said. Why hadn’t she printed thousands of the books as ordered? A different associate had taken ill, she explained. Why were so many books missing? The Baltimore school system must be to blame for losing them, she insisted.

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