Mayor Catherine Pugh holds a press conference about her "Healthy Holly" books. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun video)
Mayor Catherine Pugh’s news conference Thursday about the “Healthy Holly” scandal answered some questions but raised several more — for her, for the University of Maryland Medical System and the Baltimore City schools. Here’s what we still need to know:
Previously, Ms. Pugh had said she made $20,000 in profit on each $100,000 order of books by UMMS. The printer told The Sun that it charged $13,000 for each batch of 20,000 books — including shipping. The illustrator told The Sun that he did not charge for his work but that some of his associates were paid. Mayor Pugh has also indicated that she paid another woman, Carmellita Green, for her work on the book, but she declined to say how much. What were Ms. Pugh’s actual costs to produce the books?
A letter from the University of Maryland Medical System to Baltimore City Public Schools on January 12, 2011, says the system was donating a total 20,000 copies of the book, Healthy Holly: Exercising is Fun, as part of "community outreach."
Mar 28, 2019 at 7:00 PM
What contact did UMMS have with the schools?
Ms. Pugh provided documentation that in 2011, UMMS Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Jerry Wollman wrote to the Baltimore City school system to formally offer 20,000 copies of the first “Healthy Holly” book as part of its outreach mission to promote health. The letter requested a return signature from the system indicating its willingness to accept the donation, which was provided by an aide to Sonja Santelises, who was then the system’s chief academic officer. Did UMMS make any effort to determine whether the system found the books valuable? Did it ask whether the system would be willing to accept future shipments of “Healthy Holly” books? Are there any such letters related to the subsequent two shipments?
Baltimore school officials have told The Sun that they recall receiving one shipment of Healthy Holly books in the 2011-2013 time frame. But documents Mayor Pugh provided Thursday show three shipments of Healthy Holly books to the system’s North Avenue headquarters in 2011, 2013 and 2015. What happened to those books? Are school officials certain they did not receive them? The system says it has 8,700 of them in a warehouse. Where are the others?