Ex-Maryland Governor's Chief of Staff Dead in FBI Standoff

Roy McGrath was wanted on charges that included wire fraud
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2023 9:54 AM CDT
Former Maryland Governor's Top Aide Killed in FBI Standoff
Roy McGrath, chief executive officer of the Maryland Environmental Service, speaks during a news conference at the State House in Annapolis, Md., on April 15, 2020.   (Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun via AP, File)

Fugitive Roy McGrath, who served as chief of staff for former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, died Monday during a confrontation with the FBI near Knoxville, Tennessee, reports the Washington Post. McGrath's death came after a 21-day manhunt sparked by his failure to appear in a Baltimore federal court for his trial on charges of wire fraud and embezzlement. McGrath's lawyer, Joseph Murtha, claimed McGrath maintained his innocence. He could not confirm whether McGrath's death resulted from agent gunfire or a self-inflicted wound; the FBI said that it is reviewing what it termed an agent-involved shooting and said that McGrath sustained injuries during the arrest and was transported to a hospital.

In a statement, Hogan said he and his wife, Yumi, were "deeply saddened by this tragic situation" and "are praying for Mr. McGrath’s family." The 53-year-old McGrath rose to become one of Hogan's most trusted advisers. Their relationship soured after the Baltimore Sun reported that McGrath had deceived officials in order to receive a nearly quarter-million-dollar severance package when he left his job at Maryland Environmental Service to become Hogan's aide. The revelation prompted legislative hearings that Hogan once called a "witch hunt," though those hearings caused the rift between the two men.

As the Baltimore Sun notes, the disintegration of McGrath's relationship with Hogan is blamed on Hogan in a self-published e-book titled Betrayed: The True Story of Roy McGrath. In the book, McGrath was also portrayed as a hard worker with a clean past. Someone calling himself Ryan Cooper claimed to be the author online and got in touch with the Washington Post to say that he based the work on a draft written by McGrath in addition to speaking with the fugitive. The Post was unable to verify Cooper's identity. He said he was no longer in touch with McGrath and indicated he was worried about the suspect's March 13 disappearance. (More Larry Hogan stories.)

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