November 19, 2021
Roy C. McGrath, the former chief of staff to Governor Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) and former head of the Maryland Environmental Service, pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in federal court on Friday afternoon.
McGrath has requested a jury trial, which prosecutors say will take about two weeks. Maryland U.S. District Court Judge J. Mark Coulson has granted McGrath’s request, but no trial date has yet been set.
During the approximately three-minute virtual hearing, Joseph Murtha, McGrath’s attorney, said a lot of evidence relating to the case had yet to be revealed.
“There’s a lot of information. It’s coming,” Murtha told Coulson.
McGrath was charged with four counts of wire fraud and two counts of embezzlement of government funds in a federal indictment filed by a grand jury in early October.
If convicted of the federal charges, McGrath faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the four counts of wire fraud; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for two counts of embezzlement from an organization receiving more than $ 10,000 in federal benefits.
McGrath faces 27 other counts, including nine counts of wiretapping, 14 counts of misconduct in the line of duty, three counts of theft between $ 1,500 and $ 25,000 and one count of embezzlement. funds for embezzlement of public funds, in a separate case filed by the state prosecutor. Office at the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
Charges of theft, embezzlement and illegal eavesdropping by the state carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Misconduct in the office is a common law offense with no defined maximum penalty.
McGrath’s accusations are rooted in a severance package of $ 233,647.23 he requested when he voluntarily left the most senior position in the Maryland Environmental Service to become Hogan’s chief of staff.
According to court documents, prosecutors allege McGrath smuggled phone calls between senior government officials, falsely claimed working hours while on vacation, directed public funds to a museum in Talbot County where he served on the board and distorted the approval of his salary and severance pay for Hogan and the Maryland Environmental Service board.
Earlier this month, Hogan denied McGrath’s claim that he approved severance pay.
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