By Kate Ryan
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is on the witness list in the criminal case against a former aide.
Federal court documents show that jurors in the fraud and embezzlement case against Roy McGrath have been asked whether Hogan’s appearance as a witness for the prosecution would impact their ability to be fair and impartial.
McGrath, who briefly served as Hogan’s chief of staff, faces charges including misconduct in office, theft and wire fraud. News of Hogan’s expected appearance as a witness was first reported by The Daily Record.
When he resigned from the Maryland Environmental Service in 2020, McGrath got a severance package of more than $322,000, an amount equaling an entire year’s salary.
McGrath insisted the arrangement was cleared by Hogan, and is accused of falsifying a document to back up his claim.
Hogan has strenuously denied knowing about the arrangement made before McGrath came on as his chief of staff. McGrath resigned his post in the Hogan administration after less than two months on the job.
When asked about Hogan’s expected appearance as a witness, Michael Ricci, Hogan’s communications director, said in statement that “our office has been actively assisting in these ongoing investigations” over the past two years.
Ricci added that the governor’s office is “confident that the justice system will uphold the public trust.”
McGrath also faces charges in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court of illegally recording phone conversations with the governor and other administration officials. In Maryland, it is illegal to record conversations without the consent of all parties.
Federal prosecutors are hoping to introduce one of those phone calls into evidence in their case against McGrath but bar the rest, saying they are not relevant to the case against the former Hogan aide.
The call the federal prosecutors want to allow involves an August 2020 conversation in which McGrath made statements related to his severance payments, according to court documents.
McGrath has a federal trial date of Oct. 24. Next June, he also faces a trial related to the taping of phone calls.
As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Kate Ryan. Click here for the WTOP News website.