Federal authorities launched a manhunt for the former chief of staff to former Maryland governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday after he failed to appear in court on various fraud and other charges.
The U.S. Marshals Service tweeted that it had initiated an interstate fugitive investigation into Roy McGrath and that its Baltimore office “is now attempting to apprehend the former Maryland governor’s top aide” after he failed to appear in federal court in Maryland on Monday. An arrest warrant was also issued, the marshals added.
The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the manhunt.
In connection with an indictment charging him with defrauding the state-owned Maryland Environmental Service, McGrath faces charges of wire fraud, theft in programs receiving federal funds, and falsification of records in federal investigations, according to court documents.
An attorney for McGrath, Joseph Murtha, said in an email that he was unsure of his client’s whereabouts after he did not show up at 9 a.m. Monday for an arraignment and jury selection for the trial before U.S. District Judge Deborah L. Boardman.
“Unfortunately, I have no additional information about Mr. McGrath at this time,” Murtha wrote. “I hope that he is safe and that we will be able to speak to each other soon.”
McGrath, who lives in Florida and has pleaded not guilty to all charges, has been released on personal recognizance to appears in court as necessary and serves any sentence imposed following a court appearance in October 2021.
According to the indictment, McGrath used his position at the Maryland Environmental Service to enrich himself by fraudulently issuing payments from March 2019 to December 2020. The agency operates as a separate state entity, providing waste management and other services to local governments, federal governments, and the private sector.
On two occasions in 2019, prosecutors accused McGrath, 53, of illegally recording private conversations with senior state officials and falsifying his time sheets to claim he was at work while on vacation.
McGrath first joined Hogan’s office in 2015 as deputy chief of staff. In December 2016, Hogan, a Republican, appointed him to lead the Maryland Environmental Service.
McGrath briefly returned to the governor’s office in June 2020 to serve as Hogan’s chief of staff. He resigned months later after receiving a “severance payment” of more than $230,000 for his job with the Maryland Environmental Service prior to becoming Hogan’s top aide.
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Rebecca Martin is an author of thrillers for both adults and teens. She was born in San Francisco and has lived most of her life in Los Angeles. When not writing, she can be found hiking the Griffith Park trails, taking the Metro and then questioning this decision, and haunting local bookstores.