James T. Smith, Jr.

Envelopes of cash are the way business used to be done in Baltimore County; a guilty plea suggests times haven't changed nearly enough

Envelopes of cash are the way business used to be done in Baltimore County; a guilty plea suggests times haven't changed nearly enough

The revelation that the confidential FBI informant who first connected Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks with what turned out to be a bribery sting is former Baltimore County schools official Robert J. Barrett presents some additional intrigue for the case against the lawmaker. Mr. Oaks’ attorneys are already arguing that Mr. Barrett’s participation taints the case against their client because he was motivated to set Mr. Oaks up to secure a lighter sentence for himself. But it’s also a bombshell in Towson.

Mr. Barrett is not some minor figure in county political and government circles; he was former County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger’s campaign manager and the political Mr. Fix-It of...

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