US attorney sends letter to ethics panel on indicted senator

Maryland’s acting U.S. attorney says he believes it would be prudent for a Maryland legislative ethics panel to hold off its own investigation into an indicted state senator “until the federal charges are resolved.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning’s letter to lawmakers was read across the desk in the Senate Monday night.

Sen. Nathaniel Oaks, the Baltimore Democrat who is facing federal bribery and obstruction of justice charges, was in the chamber when the letter was read. He declined to comment after session.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who directed the ethics committee to take up the matter, says it’s hard to see the committee moving forward after the federal prosecutor’s response.

Oaks’ trial is scheduled for April 16, a week after Maryland’s legislative session ends.

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