Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s Former Chief of Staff Indicted on Fraud Charges

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Larry Hogan / Facebook; Edit: BNN

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) former chief of staff, Roy McGrath, was indicted Tuesday on federal fraud and embezzlement charges.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

McGrath, 52, served as the Republican governor’s chief of staff for 11 weeks in the summer of 2020, resigning just days after The Baltimore Sun reported that he’d negotiated a lucrative payout when he left his prior state job.

It was subsequently revealed that as McGrath departed the environmental service to head Hogan’s staff he led the service’s board members to believe the $233,650 payout had the governor’s blessing. He also was paid more than $55,000 in expense reimbursements shortly after he left.

The indictment, obtained by CBS Baltimore, says McGrath “falsely represented that the Governor knew of McGrath’s request to the MES Board of Directors for a ‘severance payment’ in the amount of his yearly salary as MES Executive Director.”

Further, the indictment states a board member sent a text message to McGrath to confirm that Hogan signed off on the payment. “Hi, the HR committee wants to make sure that the governor would be OK with you receiving severance equal to one year’s pay,” the board member wrote. “They are worried about the optics and don’t want to do anything to make the Governor look bad. I told them that I thought the governor was aware and was OK with it. Correct?”

“It’s anticipated, yes,” Hogan’s former top aide replied.

Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci said of McGrath’s indictment: “These charges are very serious and deeply troubling. Marylanders deserve to know that their public officials are held to the highest ethical standards.”

“We commend both federal and state prosecutors for their diligence and professionalism,” Ricci added. “As this case moves to the courts, we are confident that the justice system will uphold the public trust.”

Thomas Sobocinski, who leads the FBI’s Baltimore field office, called McGrath’s alleged behavior “self-serving and ultimately self-sabotaging.”

State Prosecutor Charlton Howard III said McGrath faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the four counts of wire fraud. Additionally, he faces up to 10 years in jail for each of two embezzlement counts along with five-year sentences for theft charges and for each breach of Maryland’s Wiretap rules regarding the case brought by the state, CBS Baltimore notes.

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