A state senator accused of taking bribes in a phony development scheme was back in his seat Monday moments after it was announced he would not attend the last day of session.
Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks, D-Baltimore City, was charged Friday with taking more than $15,000 in cash in exchange for using his legislative office to assist in what turned out to be a fake development project set up by the FBI.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. told members Monday morning that Oaks would not return for the final day of proceedings that runs through midnight.
“He’s not in handcuffs, he’s not in jail,” Miller told the Senate, adding that Oaks had expressed to him that he didn’t want to be a distraction.
“He stayed home and we appreciate that,” Miller said.
But Oaks didn’t stay home.
Shortly after Miller’s comments, word began circulating that Oaks had been seen around the State House. Not long after that, Oaks was spotted in his seat in the back corner of the Senate.
When a reporter attempted to take his photo on the floor, Oaks quickly shifted his seat and darted down and behind another lawmaker sitting in front of him — a position he maintained for several minutes in an attempt to avoid a video photography.