October 23, 2021

Former chief of staff to GOP governor indicted for financial fraud

Political life seems to enrich so many who choose it though it’s supposed to be an act of selfless public service. However, sometimes they get caught with their hand in the till and get the justice they deserve.

Roy McGrath, former chief of staff for Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, was indicted after allegedly wrongly collecting more than a quarter-million-dollar severance, among other offences, The Hill reported. McGrath was forced to resign shortly after taking the position due to another scandal.

McGrath left Hogan’s office after only a couple of months in the position after it was revealed that he misused funds from his previous employer, Maryland Environmental Service. He allegedly made a pledge in his own name to a museum using MES funds and also paid for tuition for a course taken after he left their employment.

When McGrath resigned from his position as executive director of MES, he took a severance package worth more than $233,000 equal to one year’s salary. He claimed to the board that it was standard procedure and that the governor had approved it.

However, Hogan had never authorized it, and McGrath is now facing additional charges for concealing conversations about it between the governor and him. If convicted, McGrath faces more than 30 years in federal prisons and thousands in fines, a Department of Justice press release said.

“Our federal and state law enforcement team in Maryland will always hold accountable public officials who betray the public trust for their personal gain,” Jonathan F. Lenzner, acting U.S. attorney, stated in the release. “Maryland residents should always demand honesty and integrity from those in government, and hopefully this indictment offers the public some level of confidence that we are committed to prosecuting those who violate that trust.”

McGrath’s attorney disputed the charges, however. “Mr. McGrath vigorously and categorically denies the allegations. He looks forward to clearing his good name and reputation at a trial on the merits.”

The people who serve in government sometimes think they can do whatever they want because of their lofty positions. Fortunately, those alleged schemes eventually come to light and the people who orchestrate them reap the justice they deserve.

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