People pray outside Mayor Catherine Pugh's house Wednesday evening. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun video)
Baltimore City Solicitor Andre Davis drafted a resignation letter for Mayor Catherine Pugh and gave it Wednesday to her attorney, as city residents await her decision about whether to step down in the face of federal and state investigations.
Her lawyer, Steven Silverman, is expected to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon at his downtown office.
In a quick, curbside exchange outside City Hall, Davis gave a manila folder to Silverman about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday. Slightly more than an hour later, Silverman arrived at the Democratic mayor's house in the city's Ashburton neighborhood.
Both men declined to comment about the exchange, which was witnessed by a Baltimore Sun reporter.
As Mayor Catherine Pugh's leave of absence passes the one-month mark, day-to-day city government operations go on as always but the future remains cloudy. In a city with great needs, and a strong-mayor form of government, clarity at the top ranks of City Hall is needed, many say.
Two sources familiar with the contents of the folder confirmed it contained the proposed resignation letter written by Davis.
It is not known whether Silverman delivered it to Pugh when he arrived at the mayor's house nor if she signed it. The mayor could choose to leave office immediately, resign at a later date, continue her indefinite leave or vow again to return to work.
Outside the mayor's house, Silverman declined to say whether the mayor has made any decision about her future.
Pugh is under investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor. The investigations involve, at least in part, her no-bid contract to sell books to the University of Maryland Medical System while she was on its board of directors — first reported in March by The Sun.
Under the Baltimore City Charter, a mayor cannot be removed from office unless convicted of a crime. Pugh's term runs until December 2020. She is paid $185,000 a year.
Acting Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young arrived Wednesday in Detroit for an economic development conference with the National Organization of Black County Officials. His spokesman said Young is scheduled to return Sunday to Baltimore.
Should Pugh resign, Young would automatically become mayor and would not need to be sworn in.
Another Pugh friend, Betty Clark, vice chairwoman of the Baltimore Design School's board of trustees, who has visited Pugh regularly this week, also participated. Pugh founded the school and is a trustee emerita.
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The Rev. Brenda White, pastor of Allen AME Church, led a prayer for the city and Pugh.
White said the group prayed for "the health, the healing and the hope for our city and for our mayor."
"All of our elected officials are deserving of prayer," she said.
Baltimore Sun reporters Colin Campbell and Ian Duncan contributed to this article.
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