SEN. OAKS CHARGED: State Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks, a longtime Baltimore state legislator, was charged in U.S. District Court Friday with accepting cash payments in exchange for using his position to influence a development project, Justin Fenton and Luke Broadwater of the Sun report.
Investigators say Oaks, a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, misused his State House letterhead and introduced legislation for the fake real estate project of a businessman who gave the lawmaker more than $15,000 in cash last year. The businessman was actually working for the FBI, writes Ann Marimow and Ovetta Wiggins for the Post.
A 21-page criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Friday court lays out the investigation, which dates back to September 2015, when Oaks was introduced to an FBI confidential informant already assisting in an unrelated investigation, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
The document detailed how the relationship progressed through the fall of 2016 during which Oaks allegedly accepted $15,300 in cash payments from the developer, who was an undercover FBI operative not named in the investigation, Melody Simmons reports for the Baltimore Business Journal. Some of those meetings took place in restaurants and in a hotel room and all were either recorded or videotaped.
Fern Shen of Baltimore Brew reports that In January, Oaks was chosen by the Democratic State Central Committee to fill the 41st District Senate seat left vacant when Lisa A. Gladden resigned for health reasons. He had been a member of the House of Delegates from 1983 to 1989, but forfeited his seat when he was convicted of stealing thousands of dollars from his reelection fund.
ETHICS RULES UPDATED: The Maryland General Assembly has unanimously passed the first major update to ethics rules in a decade, sending the measure to Gov. Larry Hogan for his promised signature, reports Erin Cox for the Sun. The legislation, given final passage by the House of Delegates Saturday, was approved two days before the annual legislative session concludes Monday — a session bookended by corruption charges against four current, former and prospective lawmakers.