State Roundup: Hogan’s ex-chief of staff McGrath indicted on federal fraud charges

State Roundup: Hogan’s ex-chief of staff McGrath indicted on federal fraud charges

The Chesapeake Bay bridges. PHOTO BY JEFFREY GOLDMAN / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CREATIVE COMMONS/JefferyGoldman

HOGAN’s EX-CHIEF OF STAFF INDICTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES: Gov. Larry Hogan’s former chief of staff, Roy C. McGrath, was indicted in federal court Tuesday, charged with defrauding a quasi-governmental agency he previously led, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.

  • McGrath, reports Pamela Wood and Justin Fenton of the Sun, faces dozens of federal and state criminal charges that he misled officials into paying him a six-figure severance, embezzled funds for personal purposes and illegally recorded phone calls with the governor and other members of Hogan’s staff.
  • Fenton and Wood also offer up five things to be aware of concerning McGrath’s indictment, including that investigators found nothing to implicate Gov. Hogan or his staff concerning the six-figure payout McGrath received.
  • McGrath “vigorously and categorically denies” any criminal conduct, his defense attorneys stated via email with regard to the federal and state charges. “He looks forward to clearing his good name and reputation at a trial on the merits.” Steve Lash and Bryan Sears report the story for the Daily Record.
  • McGrath’s tenure as Hogan’s top aide ended abruptly in August 2020, after just 11 weeks, following media reports that he received a $233,647 severance when he voluntarily stepped down as the self-styled “CEO” of the agency to work for the governor, Hannah Gaskill and Danielle Gaines write in Maryland Matters.

SEN. FERGUSON: INDICTMENT CONFIRMS HEARING FINDINGS: Senate President Bill Ferguson Tuesday responded to news of the indictment of Gov. Larry Hogan’s former chief of staff Roy McGrath on state and federal charges saying the charges only serve to confirm what lawmakers had learned during oversight hearings last year, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter.

ARUNDEL, QUEEN ANNE’S WANT BIGGER BAY BRIDGE: Backups at Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge are a summer traffic fixture, but maybe things would move along much better if there were eight or more travel lanes. Anne Arundel County and its neighbor on the other side of the water, Queen Anne’s County, want a new, bigger and better bridge between them, Dick Uliano of WTOP-FM reports.

NATIVE AMERICAN COVID CASES, DEATHS REMAIN A MYSTERY: Lumped into the “Other” racial and ethnic category, American Indians and Alaska Natives are effectively invisible on Maryland’s state website for COVID-19, Trisha Ahmed of the Capital News Service reports in Maryland Reporter. More than 120,000 people who identify as Native American live in Maryland, but without public-facing numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, it is a mystery how many the disease has affected — and how many resources should be allocated to help them.

REDISTRICTING PANEL TO OFFER DRAFT MAPS IN NOVEMBER: The AP is reporting that the General Assembly’s legislative panel on congressional redistricting will try to have some draft proposals of maps made public next month, the chairman of the commission said Tuesday.

TODAY’s VOTING RIGHTS RALLIES ECHO OF THE PAST: Jeff Barker of the Sun reports that many Black activists — including former Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, who was arrested Tuesday at a voting rights demonstration at the White House — consider voting rights a transcendent, and, in many ways, personal, struggle. While the Maryland General Assembly has been promoting more ways to vote, many other states are heading in a direction that is prompting more protests from the now adult children of voting rights activists from an earlier time.

WITH FULL STATE COFFERS, KOPP, OTHERS PROPOSE SPENDING: Overflowing state coffers and low interest rates are tempting some state fiscal leaders to borrow more money for roads and buildings, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Billions of dollars in additional and unexpected revenue driven by federal pandemic aid are waiting to be spent. Some, including Treasurer Nancy Kopp, said that money could help the state build more schools and roads without violating state debt limits.

Workforce Readiness for Advanced Energy With a renewed focus on the advanced energy economy and addressing the impacts of climate change, workforce readiness, diversity, and availability are challenges to be addressed. This FREE Webinar on October 12th focuses on approaches, programs, incentives, and the people providing solutions and assistance to support evolving local businesses.

IG BOARD MEETING IN VIOLATION OF B’MORE CITY CODE: Baltimore city’s Scott administration gave public notice on Tuesday that the Inspector General Advisory Board will hold a meeting today to privately discuss the job performance of Baltimore’s corruption watchdog, Isabel Mercedes Cumming. Trouble is: the City Code says such a meeting – which could decide Cumming’s fate as IG – requires a seven-day advance public notice, Mark Reutter of Baltimore Brew reports.

PITTMAN ASKS ED BOARD TO GET STRIKING BUS DRIVERS BACK TO WORK: Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman called on the county’s school board Tuesday to find a way to pay striking school bus drivers more and bring them back to work, Joel McCord reports for WYPR-FM.

BA CO CLOSER TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM: The Baltimore County Fair Election Fund Work Group recently released its final report to help create the county’s first public campaign financing system that will match donations for candidates who run for local offices, Cameron Goodnight of the Sun Media Group reports.

DORCHESTER GOP PROMOTES COX, VIOLATING BYLAWS: The Dorchester County Republican Central Committee is violating Maryland Republican Party bylaws regarding supporting candidates in contested primaries, Brian Griffiths of the Duckpin blog writes. The committee’s Facebook page posted a call for interested parties to contact it to obtain a Dan Cox for Governor sign, which is not the only time it promoted Cox’s candidacy.

RASKIN SPONSORS BILL TO RESEARCH EFFECTS OF TECH ON KIDS: As Facebook executives face questions from senators about efforts to market their products to children and the impact they can have, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland is sponsoring a bill that would fund research into the effects of technology on children and public health, reports Ryan Marshall for the Frederick News-Post.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online news outlet, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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