Roy McGrath, then CEO of the Maryland Environmental Service, speaks during an April 2020 press conference at the State House in Annapolis. (Pamela Wood/Baltimore Sun/AP)
Fugitive Roy C. McGrath, who was a top aide to Larry Hogan when he was governor of Maryland, died Monday in the Knoxville, Tenn., area in a standoff with the FBI, his lawyer said. He was on a 21-day manhunt after failing to appear in federal court in Baltimore.
"The loss of Roy's life is an absolute tragedy and I think it's important to say that Roy never wavered in his innocence," Joseph Murtha said. In a statement Monday night, the FBI said it was "reviewing the agent-involved shooting," which occurred around 6:30 p.m. - During the arrest, subject Roy McGrath was injured and taken to hospital. The FBI takes a position on any shooting involving our agents or members of the task force.
Murtha said he is not sure how McGrath was killed. "It's unclear to me at this point," he said. "I have not received any information as to whether Roy died as a result of being shot by an agent or if it was a self-inflicted wound."
In a statement issued by a spokesman late Monday, Hogan said: "Yumi and I are deeply saddened by this tragic situation. We are praying for Mr. McGrath's family and loved ones."
McGrath, 53, has been charged with financial fraud and embezzlement since March 13 — the day after he last met Murtha — stemming from alleged financial misconduct as head of an ostensibly public agency in Maryland. McGrath, who had a lifelong interest in politics, emerged as one of Hogan's most trusted advisers until the Baltimore Sun reported the nearly quarter-million-dollar severance package he received in 2020 after leaving the Maryland office to become the top aide to Hogan. . The revelation sparked legislative hearings that Hogan (R) once called a "witch hunt" in a message to McGrath, but also caused a rift between the two men.
The blame for the breakdown of that relationship falls squarely on Hogan, according to an e-book titled "Betrayed: The True Story of Roy McGrath," published under mysterious circumstances on Amazon.com a week after his disappearance. The book portrayed McGrath as a protagonist who "worked hard" and had "no wrongdoings" in her life.
A person claiming to be the book's author, listed online as Ryan Cooper, contacted The Post reporters and said he wrote the book based on McGrath's outline and half a dozen conversations with him. He declined to provide The Post with information to confirm his identity and said he had no contact with McGrath and that McGrath was not impersonating anyone else. "I haven't heard a peep from him and to make matters worse, it worries me," the person said. "He's not the kind of person who just disappears."
Murtha said the last time he spoke with his client on the phone before finding McGrath was the day before the trial. They planned to meet outside the courtroom at 8:
5 the next morning. McGrath planned to testify in his own defense, Murtha said. - More than anything else, I worry about his safety, he said. McGrath was indicted in 2021 for, among other things, misleading officials to receive a large severance package from Maryland Environmental Services (MES), where he served as executive director.
McGrath claimed that Hogan agreed to this. But the governor, who has cooperated with law enforcement and has not been charged with any crime, has repeatedly denied any knowledge of it.
"I know you didn't do anything wrong. I know it's unfair. I'm with you," Hogan wrote in an undated message to his former aide after it became public knowledge that McGrath had received the payment. McGrath said he resigned as chief of staff, which he held for less than three months, because the governor. promised to stand by he.
Hogan's former spokesman, Michael Ricci, who resigned in January, said the governor sent the message before learning more about receiving a layoff. Prosecutors say McGrath forged a memo that said Hogan accepted the resignation.
"This is destroying my life," McGrath told Hogan in a private text message in 2020, according to a photo obtained by the Washington Post. Federal and state authorities allege that McGrath enriched himself as MES's executive director and Hogan's chief of staff by "using his positions of trust" to get MES to pay severance pay and other expenses. Prosecutors also say McGrath falsified work schedules and recorded that he was working when he took two vacations, including one in Europe in 2019 with his girlfriend, whom he later married.
In 2016, Hogan named McGrath commander of the MES, and in 2020, amid the pandemic, the governor described McGrath as a "proven executive and passionate commitment to public service." I was looking for someone who To become one of those who hold the most powerful positions in state government as his chief of staff.
To his former McGrath colleagues at the State Capitol, McGrath was an accomplished administrator. He was a methodical, strict, and always obsessed book type. In his 2021 interviews with 20 of his current and former state government and legislative officials who McGrath worked with when he entered Maryland politics, nearly all said his retirement package He told the Post he was thrilled by the news and surprised by the excessive spending. They described him as an outspoken, formal and sometimes stiff colleague who was focused on his work and never seemed to overstate his political ambitions. During his research, McGrath moved to Florida and purchased a home in a gated community with his then-girlfriend. Federal agents executed a search warrant on March 15.
On Monday night, there were no immediate indications as to how long McGrath had been in Tennessee or why he had come to go there.
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