Lawmakers call for hearings on severance for governor's aide

Roy McGrath.jpg
Posted at 3:38 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2021-10-05 12:10:39-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland lawmakers are calling for hearings into why Governor Larry Hogan's new chief of staff received a large severance package when he left his job at an independent state agency to work in the governor's office.

Senate President Bill Ferguson and Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones released a statement Friday on the controversy surrounding Roy McGrath.

"Yesterday’s news about Mr. McGrath is truly shocking. This shows a clear lack of judgment to assume the role to the closest aide to the Governor of the State. Equally troubling, however, is the role that Maryland Environmental Services played in today’s news."

The statement went on to say, "We are asking the Joint Committee on Fair Practices and State Personnel Oversight to immediately hold hearings on why this was permitted to occur and who reviewed the severance package; and what constraints should be put in place to prevent this from happening at any quasi-State agencies in the future."

McGrath left his job at Maryland Environmental Services at the end of May to start working for Governor Hogan on June 1.

Minutes for a meeting with the MES board of directors on May 28, show that the board agreed to pay him a severance equal to one year's salary, reimburse him tuition expenses of $5,250, and let him use the laptop computer and cell phone he was issued by the agency.

According to state budget documents for FY2021 his salary in 2020 was $233,647.

McGrath was appointed to his role of CEO and Chairman of MES by Governor Hogan in December 2016.

He previously served as a senior advisor to the governor, deputy chief of staff, and liaison to the Maryland Board of Public Works.

Since March, he has served as a key member of the governor’s Coronavirus Response Team, supporting alignment of critical state resources to manage the crisis.