August 17, 2020
Roy McGrath resigned Monday as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's chief of staff amid turmoil over a six-figure severance package he received from his previous state government job.
McGrath officially assumed the role of Hogan's top aide on June 1.
The Maryland Environmental Service board of directors approved McGrath's severance in May.
The board offered McGrath a year's salary - roughly $233K - plus tuition reimbursement and other perks.
Senate President Willam C. "Bill Ferguson IV (D) and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D) released a statement Friday calling for special hearings into McGrath's severance.
Though McGrath did not release an official statement, he wrote on Facebook that he "remains focused" on his job, and he decried the report as toxic, partisan politics."
The governor and his press officials declined to comment.
On Monday, however, McGrath said he was "exiting state service," referring to the latest incident as a "distraction."
"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," McGrath said in a statement.
Hogan's office released a statement Monday announcing the governor regretfully accepts McGrath's resignation.
"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," Hogan said.
"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."
Hogan taps Keiffer Mitchell Jr. as Acting Chief
The governor tapped Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., the administration's chief lobbyist, as his acting chief of staff. Mitchell is widely respected by both sides of the political aisle and established himself as a bipartisan consensus builder.
“I am humbled that Governor Hogan has put his trust in me. We have a first-rate team that is working around the clock at such a critical moment in our history. Together, we will continue to change Maryland for the better," Mitchell said in a statement, released by Hogan officials.
Both Bill Ferguson and Adrienne Jones released a statement Monday saying that agreed with McGrath's decision to step aside.
Hogan's spokesman said McGrath is "not receiving severance from the governor's office," the Sun reported.
A Miner Detail received a data dump earlier Monday morning from someone apparently on the inside of state government - someone who worked closely with McGrath.