Maryland governor to testify at former aide’s trial

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will be called as a witness in the federal fraud trial of his former chief of staff, Roy McGrath, a rarity for a sitting governor.

The Daily Record reports that the disclosure is part of a joint filing of proposed questions for prospective jurors.

Michael Ricci, a Hogan spokesman, referred questions about the trial to prosecutors.

“Over the last two years, our office has been actively assisting in these ongoing investigations,” Ricci said, adding that the governor’s office is “confident that the justice system will uphold the public trust.”

McGrath faces an eight-count federal indictment. Charges include wire fraud, including securing a $233,648 severance payment equal to one year of salary as the head of Maryland Environmental Service. He also faces fraud and embezzlement charges connected to roughly $170,000 in expenses. McGrath has pleaded not guilty.

A final charge involves allegations that he falsified a memo that purports to show Hogan was informed of McGrath’s severance arrangement and signed off on the deal.

His trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 24.

Hogan has repeatedly denied knowing of or approving of a severance payment negotiated by McGrath with a quasi-government agency before McGrath briefly became the two-term governor’s top aide.

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