No Mercy for Catherine Pugh
It takes a certain kind of audacity to believe that you can rip people off and get away with it. But it takes galaxy level audacity to believe that after getting caught and convicted of ripping off taxpayers that you should only spend a short period of time behind bars.
Catherine Pugh’s attorneys are asking a judge for leniency after the 69-year-old disgraced Baltimore mayor pleaded guilty to her fraudulent “Healthy Holly” scheme, saying the consequences of her crimes already have taken a significant toll on her health, finances and reputation.
“Ms. Pugh has become a tragic figure — an inspiring person dedicated to helping her community who is now a disgraced, unemployed felon, and who has lost everything that she had,” her attorneys wrote in a sentencing memorandum Friday.
Pugh believes she should spend only one day and one year in jail. Federal prosecutors have suggested a sentence of five-years.
Imagine having the chutzpah to argue that you have “suffered enough” after trying to rip off taxpayers, falsifying tax returns, and all of the other things she did as mayor of Baltimore.
At least you can understand why Pugh is asking for leniency for herself. What’s more appalling is the fact that other Democrats are also calling for leniency for her, as the Sun reports:
Kweisi Mfume, the Democratic nominee for the 7th Congressional District, was among dozens of friends, relatives and neighbors who pleaded for leniency for former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh ahead of her sentencing in federal court, according to a memo her attorney filed Friday.
How absurd its this? Mfume, who is running for Congress and presumably shares the opinion of Congressional Democrats on the prosecution of President Trump, wants federal prosecutors to go easy on Pugh.
Mfume’s opinion on this is sickening.
The problem with proposed leniency on Pugh is the message it sends to all of the other elected officials in Maryland who are part of the Democrats Culture of Corruption. What kind of message would it send to them that, once they get caught, that courts would be lenient toward them? Even worse, what kind of message does it send that elected Democrats in Maryland think that the courts should go easy on other Democrats convicted of public corruption?
The message there is basically: “Public corruption isn’t that serious of a crime.”
For too long, the Maryland Democrats have not taken their Culture of Corruption seriously. And the lack of seriousness with which they take corruption has been one reason why this corruption has continued. Democrats may fall short of directly embracing corruption, but they have shown that they have a tolerance of it within their ranks. And Mfume’s pleading for mercy for Pugh shows that.
What’s needed here is not mercy. What’s needed here is for the courts to make an example out of Catherine Pugh. A message to send to Democrats that while they may not take public corruption seriously, federal prosecutors and federal courts do.
It’s time to make an example of somebody. And that person has to be Catherine Pugh. For the audacity of her crimes, the audacity of her claim of “suffering”, it’s time to throw the book at her. There’s an old adage, “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” Democrats apparently have had sufficient enough warnings.
So it’s time to make Catherine Pugh that warning.