The public has not heard from Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh in a month. The acting mayor, Bernard C. “Jack” Young, who’s in Detroit for a conference, hasn’t so much as gotten a phone call from her in weeks. All we know about her status and intentions comes from a private attorney, Steven Silverman, and now he’s telling us that at 3:30 today in his office — not the mayor’s residence, not City Hall — he will inform Baltimore of who its mayor will be. Whether Ms. Pugh will even be in the room is a mystery.
We find this troubling, not because we are upset at the signs suggesting she plans to resign (we called for that weeks ago), but because a matter this important needs to be handled the right way. The last thing of substance Mr. Silverman told the city was that the mayor was not sufficiently “lucid” — an astonishing word — to make a decision about whether to resign. Unless the public is able to see and ask questions of Ms. Pugh, an elected official, how are we to know that she is sufficiently “lucid” now? How do we know she is really making this decision for herself?
Mayor Catherine Pugh's lawyer Steve Silverman says that she "is not fit to make decisions today" about resigning. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun video)
What we do know is that City Solicitor Andre Davis wrote a draft letter of resignation that he handed to Mr. Silverman on the street (an event witnessed by chance by Sun reporter Doug Donovan). Why are we not hearing from Mr. Davis, who at least works for the people of Baltimore? Why did he not deliver the letter himself? Has he personally spoken with the mayor to determine the validity of whatever it is we will be told this afternoon?
If Ms. Pugh has the capacity to make a decision about whether she will stay in office, then she must have the capability to tell us herself. We hope she will.