Several investigations and reviews have begun or been requested in the weeks since The Baltimore Sun revealed hundreds of thousands of University of Maryland Medical System deals with nine of its volunteer board members, including Mayor Catherine Pugh.
Some are investigations into Pugh, who has taken a leave of absence as mayor amid the controversy, citing illness. Others include reviews of dealings by the medical system board members, health insurers and others who have been revealed to be involved in the scandal.
It can be tough to keep track of the various investigations. Here’s are the ones we know of:
State prosecutor investigating ‘Healthy Holly’ deal
State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt, Maryland’s top political corruption prosecutor, has opened an investigation into Pugh’s $500,000 deal to sell thousands of her self-published “Healthy Holly” books to the medical system while she was a board member, according to Pugh’s attorney, Steven Silverman.
Gov. Larry Hogan formally requested the investigation after James Cabezas, a former retired public corruption investigator in the State Prosecutor’s office, filed a complaint about Pugh’s UMMS deal to the office.
Davitt, who plans to retire in August, previously prosecuted cases against Baltimore County Public Schools CEO Dallas Dance and former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold.
Independent firm reviewing UMMS board member contracts
The medical system’s board of directors has hired an independent consulting firm to document, review and determine “the legality” of the contracts awarded to board members.
Nygren Consulting of Santa Barbara, Calif., will examine deals worth millions of dollars that led Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and two other board members to resign their seats and caused four others to agree to take voluntary leaves of absence.
The remaining board also placed UMMS CEO Robert Chrencik on temporary leave.
Baltimore Board of Ethics investigating ‘Healthy Holly’ deal
The five-member Board of Ethics voted unanimously to open an investigation into whether Pugh’s deal violated city ethics rules.
Associated Black Charities submitted a letter to the ethics board to disclose that it had received donations from various groups — including the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund (MAIF), a quasi-public company created by the Maryland General Assembly for hard-to-insure drivers — to buy Pugh’s books, chairwoman Linda Pierson said.
City Council members requests inspector general investigation into Kaiser deal
Councilman Ryan Dorsey, who has called for the mayor to step down over the scandal, has asked the Office of the Inspector General, a city watchdog office, to review city health insurer Kaiser Permanente’s $114,000 purchase of books from Pugh, during a period when the company was seeking a lucrative contract to provide health benefits to city employees.
Concilwoman Shannon Sneed also requested an OIG review.
Dorsey separately asked the city human resources director to determine the potential effects on workers’ health care “in the event that an investigation might lead to the Board of Estimates’ suspension or termination of the contract.”
City review of recent contracts
Acting Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, who is serving in the role in Pugh’s absence, is launching a review of recent and pending major city contracts after meeting with agency leaders this week, amid the fallout of the controversy the “Healthy Holly” books.
Maryland Insurance Administration review of insurers involved
The Maryland Insurance Administration has declined to comment about the donations, but it said the insurance companies involved will be reviewed by the state regulator.
Tracy Imm, a spokeswoman, said the agency would review of Kaiser, MAIF and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which have publicly acknowledged donating funds directly to Pugh’s company, Healthy Holly LLC, or to Associated Black Charities for the books.