A Maryland state senator, Nathaniel T. Oaks, a Democrat, (What else?) pleaded not guilty to bribery charges in an alleged pay to play scheme.
Oaks confessed to police that he took the money, so his not guilty plea is a bit of a surprise, at least until you remember he is a Democrat. The confession was put out there by prosecutors after Oaks’ attorney tried to get the bribery and obstruction of justice charges to be tried separately.
Oaks will participate in the next session of the Maryland General Assembly since his trial doesn’t begin until after that session ends. Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan believes that Oaks should be booted from the legislature.
This is not Oaks first brush with the law. In 1989 Oaks was convicted of stealing thousands of dollars from his campaign funds. He was elected back into the legislature in 1994 and was appointed to the state Senate in 2017, just in time to receive a bribe. Oaks has served 30 years in the Maryland legislature. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says that despite the fact that Oaks confessed to taking, they should wait until after his trial to remove him.
I assume that’s because Democrats have a 50/50 chance of beating the rap even after confessing.
The role of cash bail in pretrial release was one of the most heavily debated and aggressively lobbied issues of the 2017 session.
After a Court of Appeals ruling that limited the role of cash bail in pretrial release decisions, members of the bail-bond industry mounted a lobbying campaign to persuade the General Assembly to block or at least weaken the decision, which they believed threatened their business.
According to the federal filing, Oaks agreed at one point to speak with Del. Curt Anderson, chairman of the Baltimore House delegation, at Person #1’s request. Anderson initially co-sponsoring a bill favored by the industry, but switched sides and became a leading opponent.
The FBI began their investigation of Oaks in 2014 when word was received that Oaks was associating with men of known reputation and that he had received cash and other gifts from them.