Former Governor’s Aide Dead After FBI Stand-Off

Former Governor's Aide Dead After FBI Stand-Off

( – Roy McGrath was once one of the most powerful politicos in Maryland. He served as chief-of-staff to former Governor Larry Hogan (R) and then ran the Maryland Environmental Service (MES), a state agency that handled composting, wastewater management, and recycling. That all fell apart when he was accused of fraudulently obtaining a massive severance payment.

McGrath was indicted on several federal charges. In March, he became a fugitive, and a nationwide manhunt ensued. That hunt has now come to a tragic end.

Fatal Shot

On April 3, the weeks-long manhunt for McGrath came to an end near Knoxville, Tennessee. The Baltimore Banner reported Attorney William C. Brennan Jr., who works for McGrath’s wife, Laura Bruner, confirmed the former Maryland official died at a hospital. “Laura’s absolutely distraught,” Brennan said.

Shayne Buchwald, a public affairs officer for the FBI, said agents confronted McGrath at a commercial intersection west of Knoxville at 6:30 p.m. and began shooting. The fugitive suffered a gunshot wound, but it isn’t clear if it was self-inflicted or if he was shot by agents.

The Washington Post reported a statement from the FBI that said the agency is investigating the incident. It also stated the agency takes all shootings involving its officials very seriously.

An American Fugitive

McGrath’s time on the run began when he failed to show up for trial on March 13. On March 28, the FBI released a bulletin announcing a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the former official. The federal agency revealed an arrest warrant had been issued for him.

Subsequent reporting showed video of McGrath’s home being searched.

McGrath was supposed to go on trial for wire fraud, falsification of records, and theft. In 2022, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland publicized the former official had allegedly forged paperwork that made it seem as though Hogan had authorized a severance package for him worth more than $233,000.

The former official was also accused of using funds from the MES to pay for a personal pledge to a local museum. Prosecutors also alleged the state agency paid tuition costs he wasn’t entitled to and claimed he forged his time sheets to appear he was working when he wasn’t.

McGrath’s attorney, Joseph Murtha, told the press that his client’s death was “an absolute tragedy.” He said McGrath “never wavered about his innocence.”

The FBI’s Inspection Division will handle the probe into the shooting.

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