By Associated Press - Monday, March 9, 2020

BALTIMORE (AP) - A federal judge has granted an incarceration delay request for a former Baltimore mayor who pleaded guilty to fraud charges involving sales of her children’s books.

Disgraced Mayor Catherine Pugh’s request to delay her incarceration until April 27 was granted last week, news outlets reported Monday.

A motion filed March 2 requested the delay until her niece, who lives with her, completes the semester at the University of Maryland Law School.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marty Clarke didn’t object.

Pugh pleaded guilty in November to wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the government and two counts of tax evasion in relation to her making more than $850,000 from selling her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s books to businesses and nonprofits to promote her political career and fund her run for mayor.

She was sentenced in February to three years in prison and was told to report to court on April 13. She was ordered to pay more than $411,000 in restitution and to forfeit more than $669,000 to the government.

The scandal shook Maryland’s largest city, which for years has struggled with grinding poverty, political mismanagement, record crime rates and police abuses that led to massive riots. And it made a mockery of Pugh’s inaugural promise to restore trust in Baltimore’s leaders.

Pugh was elected mayor in 2016 and resigned in May as authorities investigated bulk sales of her books.

Federal authorities accused her of double selling the books, keeping many for self-promotion purposes and failing to deliver them to institutions they were purchased for, including the Baltimore City Public Schools.

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