A federal judge has issued an arrest warrant for Roy McGrath, the former chief of staff to two-term Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, after he failed to appear in Baltimore for the start of his criminal trial for corruption charges on Monday.
The warrant was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Boardman, who sent the jury home after McGrath’s failure to appear, according to local outlet Maryland Matters.
“Let’s hope he’s safe and there’s some mix-up,” Boardman said at the time, according to the outlet.
Law enforcement searched McGrath’s Florida home and found no sign of him, the Washington Post reported.
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McGrath faces an eight-count federal indictment. 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.
McGrath resigned from Hogan’s office a few months after the six-figure payment was reported.
A final charge involves allegations that he falsified a memo that purports to show Hogan was informed of McGrath’s severance arrangement and signed off on the deal.
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Hogan, who served as the governor of Maryland from 2015 to 2023, has repeatedly denied knowing or approving of a severance payment negotiated by McGrath with a quasi-government agency before McGrath briefly became the two-term governor’s top aide.
Under terms set in his pretrial release, McGrath gave up his passport in October 2021. He was also required, according to reporting from UPI News, to undergo medical or psychiatric treatment, which was later stricken.
McGrath’s attorney, Joseph Murtha, said Monday he had made attempts to contact his client and his wife.
“I looked forward to seeing him at 8:45 this morning,” Murtha said on the day of McGrath’s scheduled appearance. “Most importantly, I’m concerned. I’m hoping he’s safe. 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.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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