Nearly $115 million went to board members of the University of Maryland Medical System or businesses associated with them, a state audit has found. The payments went to 27 board members or their associated businesses between Jan. 1, 2016 and April 18, 2019, according to a 100-page report that was sent to state lawmakers Friday by the Office of Legislative Audits, the AP reports. "Approximately 94 percent ($108.2 million) of these payments were made either directly to a Board member or to an entity with which the Board member (or immediate family member) had a direct financial relationship,” the audit said. "The remaining $6.7 million was paid to 19 entities that met our criteria for an associated business" that didn't have a "direct financial relationship" to the board members.
The audit was done after a self-dealing scandal bedeviled the medical system last year. Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, a former UMMS board member, received $500,000 in one of the deals for her "Healthy Holly" children's books. She pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of conspiracy and tax evasion. She was sentenced last month to three years in prison. The audit did not include the names of board members and associated businesses, though that information was shared with UMMS. The audit also noted it had not established that "the transactions were improper." In a response included in the audit, UMMS agreed with the audit's criticism of the procurement policies, describing them as "fundamentally flawed." (Look at the details of Pugh's case.)