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Former top aide to ex-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan dies after manhunt, lawyer says

FBI agents had captured Roy McGrath in Tennessee when, according to his attorney, he suffered a gunshot wound and died.
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The former chief of staff to ex-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan died after he was captured Monday in Tennessee, nearly three weeks after he failed to appear in federal court last month on fraud and other charges, authorities and his lawyer said.

Roy McGrath, 53, suffered a gunshot wound and succumbed to injuries, lawyer Joseph Murtha said in an email.

It wasn't clear whether the injury was self-inflicted or whether it occurred in an exchange of gunfire with FBI agents, Murtha said.

Prosecutors have accused Roy McGrath, pictured in April 2020, of collecting excessive expenses while in office, for illegally engineering a $233,647 severance payment from the Maryland Environmental Service when he left the organization to be Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's chief of staff and for fabricating a memo from Hogan's office that showed the governor's approval of the payment.
Roy McGrath in 2020.Pamela Wood / The Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images file

An FBI spokesman said an "agent-involved shooting" is under review but declined to comment further on who fired the fatal shot. McGrath suffered the injury during his arrest in Knoxville at 6:30 p.m., said the spokesman, Shayne Buchwald. 

“The loss of Roy’s life is an absolute tragedy,” Murtha said. “I think it is important for me to say that Roy never wavered about his innocence.”

McGrath failed to appear for trial on federal wire fraud, theft and falsification charges on March 13. Two weeks later, the FBI offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, saying he was a fugitive and an international flight risk.

McGrath was Hogan's deputy chief of staff in 2015 before Hogan appointed him to lead the Maryland Environmental Service in December 2016.

He briefly returned as Hogan's chief of staff in 2020 before he resigned amid a backlash over a large severance payout from the service.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland accused McGrath of using his position at the nonprofit public corporation — which provides waste management, recycling and other services to government agencies and the private sector — to enrich himself by fraudulently claiming Hogan had approved the payout.

Federal prosecutors in Maryland also accused McGrath of illegally recording private conversations with officials, falsifying time sheets and directing service funds to a museum where he was a member and to pay for tuition benefits.