State Sen. Ralph Shortey was released from the Cleveland County jail about two hours after he turned himself in because of a child prostitution case.
Shortey was charged in Cleveland County District Court after a police investigation into his stay at a Moore hotel with a 17-year-old boy.
Shortey is charged with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting a minor for prostitution. His bail was set at $100,000.
The Oklahoma Senate approved a resolution imposing punishment upon Shortey.
“This is not a presumption of guilt or innocence. The Oklahoma Senate has full faith that the judicial system will play out appropriately and bring this matter to a lawful conclusion. This resolution reserves the right of the Oklahoma Senate to pursue further action if more facts come to light. It would be inappropriate to comment any further due to the pending investigation,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus.
The Moore Police Department released a redacted copy of the incident report which outlines the contact they made with Shortey and a teenage boy. The following is the department’s statement concerning the report posted on its Facebook page.
“There has been a great deal of interest in an incident that occurred in Moore on March 9th, 2017 at a local hotel. At this time, an investigation is still ongoing. The Moore Police Department is committed to responding to and fulfilling requirements of the Oklahoma Open Records act. The Moore Police Department will be providing prompt and reasonable access to records for public inspection once the release of those records will no longer hinder any ongoing investigation and when the records have been compiled.”
The resolution imposing punishment upon Senator Shortey for disorderly behavior is covered under provisions of Section 30 of Article V of the Oklahoma Constitution. The Senate can expel a member with a two-thirds majority vote.
Shortey has been suspended as vice chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He was suspended from membership on the Insurance, Judiciary and Appropriations committees.
He has lost his executive assistant and ordered to return his state-owned laptop computer and other state-owned property. Shortey has been kicked out of his office at the Capitol and lost his assigned parking space. He can’t author any bills and all of his expense accounts are suspended.
“Oklahomans deserve to be represented by those above reproach. Ralph Shortey has clearly failed to achieve this minimum standard and had rightfully lost his senate privileges,” said Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb. “As a former law enforcement official, I commend the swift actions of the Moore Police Department and the Cleveland County District Attorney’s office. “In light of the charges filed against him, Ralph Shortey should resign from his seat so the good people of southwest Oklahoma City can move forward with electing a new state senator.”