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Baltimore Residents React To Raid Of Mayor's Offices


In Baltimore, Md., the FBI and the IRS raided the home and City Hall office of the city's mayor, Catherine Pugh, along with several other sites yesterday. Emily Sullivan of member station WYPR reports that residents are angry about a spreading scandal.

EMILY SULLIVAN, BYLINE: As news of the raids broke, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Pugh should resign, adding to the calls of nearly every city and state politician. Baltimoreans themselves are tired, like Melissa Shober. She's a social work policy analyst who writes a well-known blog in the city.

MELISSA SHOBER: It just makes me furious that folks are living in housing that is among the poorest and weakest-inspected in the nation at the same time that our elected officials, who profess to love and adore us, are lining their own pockets.

SULLIVAN: She's lived through scandals in the mayor's office before, but...

SHOBER: This feels substantially different in scope and kind to me.

SULLIVAN: Pugh first made waves last month when the Baltimore Sun reported a half-a-million-dollar children's book deal she struck up with the University of Maryland Medical System, where she was a board member. And then there was the deal with health care provider Kaiser Permanente, which, at the time, was seeking a contract worth $48 million with the city that it eventually received.

Pugh's been on indefinite paid leave since April 1, citing a case of pneumonia. That's left City Council President Jack Young as acting mayor. Justin Kay, a city resident, says he likes Young and that Pugh's leave now seems like it's gone too long.

JUSTIN KAY: Because it seem like it's inevitable she's going to quit. I probably would've ripped the Band-Aid off immediately and moved on and let things continue on with Jack Young.

SULLIVAN: Eighty-six-year-old Juanita Hayes (ph) has lived in Baltimore all her life. She's worried about the mayor and hopes her physical health is rebounding.

JUANITA HAYES: I have sympathy with her. I think of her as a daughter. She'll do what's right. She'll step down.

SULLIVAN: Pugh's attorneys told reporters last night that she's still sick and becoming lucid. And once she's there, she'll make appropriate decisions. For NPR News, I'm Emily Sullivan in Baltimore. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.