Roy McGrath, who at one point in the middle of 2020 was the chief of staff for former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, died this week after a confrontation with FBI agents who were trying to track him down.
The FBI had been searching for McGrath since he missed a scheduled appearance in Baltimore court in mid-March. He was facing criminal charges as a result of his alleged involvement in a scheme that bilked the state of Maryland out of close to $300,000.
The U.S. Marshals Service said McGrath had pleaded not guilty to all of the charges that were levied against him, and he was released on bond. He was staying in his home in Florida and was supposed to travel to Baltimore for his trial date.
On Monday, the FBI confirmed there was an “agent-involved shooting” in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area during the early afternoon hours. They later added that McGrath “sustained injury and was transported to the hospital,” though they didn’t provide any further details.
McGrath’s attorney, Joseph Murtha, confirmed his client’s death in a statement on Monday that read:
“The FBI has confirmed that Roy succumbed to the injuries inflicted earlier in the evening. It is a tragic ending to three weeks of uncertainty. I think it is important to stress that Roy never waivered about his innocence.”
Neither McGrath’s attorney, nor his wife’s attorney, provided any further details about how McGrath died. William Brennan, who is McGrath’s wife’s attorney, only said that her husband died in a hospital in Tennessee after there was “a confrontation with the FBI.” he added that his client was “absolutely distraught.”
One person who is close to the investigation confirmed to CNN that the confrontation between McGrath and the FBI agents happened near an exit on the interstate. The FBI had received a tip in recent days that McGrath was in that area.
Agents then tracked his vehicle onto the highway and tried to conduct a traffic stop. At this point, it’s not clear why McGrath was there or even how long he had been there.
Investigators are still working to figure out how the shots fired by agents at the FBI happened, and how McGrath died.
In October of 2021, a federal grand jury indicted McGrath on charges related to him defrauding the Maryland Environmental Service, a corporation operated by the state at which he was executive director. He served in that position before he moved over to the governor’s office.
The Department of Justice said McGrath was alleged to have defrauded the MES of more than $230,000 in severance payments by “falsely telling them that the governor was aware of and approved the payment.”
He was also alleged to have directed funds from the MES to a specific art museum where he served on the board of directors. He did this, apparently, so that he didn’t have to pay for a pledge he made from his own money.
McGrath was also being accused of other financial crimes.