Roy McGrath, the former chief of staff to ex-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, died after he was captured in Tennessee. McGrath was Hogan’s deputy chief of staff in 2015 before Hogan appointed him to lead the Maryland Environmental Service in December 2016. He briefly returned as Hogan’s chief of staff in 2020, before resigning amid backlash over a large severance payout from the service.
Lawyer Joseph Murtha said in an email that McGrath, 53, suffered a gunshot wound and succumbed to injuries. Murtha said it was unclear whether the injury was self-inflicted or whether it occurred in an exchange of gunfire with FBI agents. “The loss of Roy’s life is an absolute tragedy,” Murtha said. “I think it is important for me to say that Roy never wavered about his innocence.” FBI spokesman Shayne Buchwald said an “agent-involved shooting” is under review but declined to comment further on who fired the fatal shot, adding that McGrath suffered the injury during his arrest in Knoxville at 6:30 p.m.
The incident occurred nearly three weeks after he failed to appear for trial on federal wire fraud, theft and falsification charges on March 13. Two weeks later, the FBI offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, saying he was a fugitive and an international flight risk.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland had accused McGrath of using his position at the nonprofit public corporation to enrich himself by fraudulently claiming Hogan had approved the payout. Federal prosecutors in Maryland also accused McGrath of illegally recording private conversations with officials, falsifying time sheets and directing service funds to a museum where he was a member and to pay for tuition benefits.
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