By The Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday agreed to delay for a second time the start of former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s prison sentence related to the fraudulent sales of her self-published children’s books.
U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow ruled that Pugh should begin her three-year prison term on federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges no earlier than June 26, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Federal prosecutors said Thursday that the request was accepted because of Justice Department policies intended to help protect against the coronavirus, according to The Sun.
Pugh was initially supposed to report to a women’s prison in Aliceville, Alabama, about two months earlier, on April 27, but an attorney for the disgraced politician argued in a motion Wednesday that his client should have her start day moved to June 1.
In the Wednesday court filing, defense attorney Andrew White cited delays prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the location of the federal prison to which she was assigned and a pending perjury case in Maryland.
Prosecutors rejected the argument related to the perjury case, and dismissed the claim she needed time to appeal her prison location, the newspaper said.
Pugh was sentenced Feb. 27 after she pleaded guilty to the federal charges in November. Authorities accused her of carrying out a fraudulent scheme for several years selling her Healthy Holly paperbacks to nonprofit organizations to promote her political career.
In March, a separate federal judge granted Pugh her first incarceration delay.