Manhunt for former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s ex-chief of staff

Federal authorities initiated a manhunt Tuesday for former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan‘s onetime chief of staff after he failed to appear in court in connection with a series of fraud and other charges.

The U.S. Marshals Service tweeted that it had launched an interstate fugitive investigation into Roy McGrath, and its Baltimore office “is now seeking to apprehend the former Maryland governor’s top aide” after he was not in Maryland federal court on Monday.

An arrest warrant was also issued, the Marshals added.

NBC News has reached out to the agency for comment on the manhunt.

According to court documents, McGrath is facing charges of wire fraud, theft in programs receiving federal funds and falsification of records in federal investigations, in connection with an indictment that says he defrauded the state-owned Maryland Environmental Service.

An attorney for McGrath, Joseph Murtha told NBC News in an email that he was unsure of his client’s whereabouts after he didn’t show up at 9 a.m. on Monday for an arraignment and jury selection for the trial before Judge Deborah L. Boardman.

“Unfortunately, at this time I have no further information about Mr. McGrath,” Murtha wrote. “It is my hope that he is safe and that we will have an opportunity to speak to one another in the near future.”

McGrath, who lives in Florida and has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, has been free on personal recognizance on conditions that he promised to appear in court as required and serve any sentence imposed following a court appearance in October 2021.

According to the indictment, from March 2019 through December 2020, McGrath used his position at the Maryland Environmental Service to enrich himself by fraudulently issuing himself payments. The agency functions as an independent state entity that provides waste management and other services to local government agencies, federal government entities and the private sector.

Prosecutors also accused McGrath, 53, of illegally recording private conversations with senior state officials and falsifying his time sheets, claiming that he was at work while vacationing on two occasions in 2019.

McGrath first joined Hogan’s office as deputy chief of staff in 2015. Hogan then appointed him to lead the Maryland Environmental Service, in December 2016.

McGrath later briefly returned to the GOP governor’s office, to serve as Hogan’s chief of staff in June 2020. He resigned months later after facing backlash over receiving a “severance payment” in excess of $230,000 for the Maryland Environmental Service job before taking on his role as Hogan’s top aide.

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