A federal judge has issued an arrest warrant for Roy McGrath, the former chief of staff to two-term Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan.
McGrath is facing an eight-count federal indictment stemming from a criminal corruption investigation. Charges include wire fraud, including securing a $233,648 severance payment equal to one year of salary as the head of Maryland Environmental Service. He also faces fraud and embezzlement charges connected to roughly $170,000 in expenses. McGrath has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
McGrath resigned from Hogan’s office a few months after the six-figure payment was reported.
One charge relates to allegations that McGrath falsified a memo that purports to show the Governor was informed of his then-chief of staff’s severance arrangement and signed off on the deal.
The former Governor, who until recently was mulling a White House bid has vehemently denied knowing or approving of a severance payment negotiated by McGrath.
U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Boardman issued the arrest warrant after McGrath failed to appear in Baltimore for the start of his criminal trial on Monday.
“Let’s hope he’s safe and there’s some mix-up,” Boardman told local outlet Maryland Matters on Monday.
Joseph Murtha, McGrath’s attorney, said he had attempted throughout the morning on Monday to reach his client and his wife.
“Most importantly, I’m concerned. I’m hoping he’s safe,” Murtha said. “These situations are very stressful, the uncertainty of going to trial can cause people to do things many people don’t think are appropriate. We hope that he’s safe.”
McGrath’s attorney noted t
McGrath also faces pending state criminal charges relating to alleged illegally recorded private conversations involving senior state officials without their permission during his employment at the Maryland Environmental Service and as chief of staff.
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