Gov. Hogan’s new chief of staff resigns after large severance package called into question

Roy McGrath.jpg
Posted at 5:27 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 17:27:52-04

ANNAPOLIS — Governor Larry Hogan named chief legislative officer Keiffer J. Mitchell, Jr. to serve as acting chief of staff following the resignation of Roy McGrath.

Mitchell will lead the governor’s search for a permanent chief of staff.

In a statement, Hogan said:

“It is with regret that I have accepted Roy McGrath’s resignation as chief of staff. Roy has been a deeply valued member of our administration, and our state is better for his dedicated service. I recognize that this was a difficult decision for Roy, but I understand and respect his reasons for making this decision. I have always known Roy to be someone of the highest character, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.

“Effective immediately, I am naming chief legislative officer Keiffer Mitchell to serve as acting chief of staff. Keiffer is a widely respected leader who has served our administration with distinction since day one. He has a proven track record for bringing people together and working across the aisle, and I thank him for stepping up to serve at this important time.”

Mitchell served in the House of Delegates from 2011-2015, representing District 44 in Baltimore City, and he served on the Baltimore City Council from 1995-2007.

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McGrath said in a statement:

“​There is no higher calling than public service. My experience began at age 18, and I have always approached it not as a matter of party loyalty, but as a Marylander first. In May, I was humbled to have been asked to serve as chief of staff for the administration. Having been in a similar role before, I recognized I would be taking on a big job at one of the most difficult times in our history. We have had months of grueling, but successful, efforts managing the coronavirus pandemic.

“For me, this entire topic is simply the sad politics of personal destruction, and right now, we cannot afford unnecessary distractions from the critical work the governor and his team are doing. For this reason, I have advised the governor that I am exiting state service. Most of my career was spent in the private sector, and that’s where I will return. I want to thank Governor Hogan for his enthusiastic confidence in me and for this incredible opportunity to have served the people of Maryland. I look forward to helping Keiffer during this transition.”

This comes after Maryland lawmakers called for hearings into why McGrath received a large severance package when he left his job at an independent state agency to work in the governor's office.

McGrath had just been appointed chief of staff back in May.