The Oklahoman, along with other sources, is reporting that GOP Oklahoma state senator Ralph Shortey (R-44) is under investigation after being caught in a Moore hotel room last week with a “teenage boy”. Police went to the hotel as part of a welfare check prompted by a relative of the youth. At the same time, Moore police are looking into a series of text messages between Shortey and the juvenile which, it’s reported, alarmed the family and caused them to notify police.
It’s important to note that as of yet no arrests have been made, and no charges have been filed. However, as of this writing, KOCO is reporting that Moore police are recommending three prostitution-related charges against Shortey: soliciting prostitution of a minor, prostitution within 1000 feet of a church, and transporting for the purpose of prostitution.
Shortey was swept into office as part of the 2010 Tea Party flood, and he’s done everything he could to fit in with that crew. He loves guns (and argued in favor of open carry legislation because, and I quote, “You will know the fear that a [wild] turkey can invoke in a person”). He abhors nearly everything about immigrants (earning him the admiration and endorsement of Joe Arpaio). He is a Birther, pushing for a state law that would require Presidential candidates to present a valid long-form birth certificate before their name could appear on the Oklahoma ballot. And he’s so well-liked that Dog The Bounty Hunter himself hosted a fundraiser for Shortey’s 2014 reelection.
However, Shortey’s most famous for his 2012 push to ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food. (Which, personal note, was a real bummer, as when I visit family in Oklahoma, I like to do nothing better than head to the local Blastula Burger for a heapin’ helping of their Famous Fetus Fries, but I guess that’s over with.)
Most recently, Shortey worked as the Oklahoma state chair for Donald Trump’s primary campaign.
But of course.
Shortey’s last Facebook post was March 10—the day after Shortey was found in the hotel room--and featured a photo of him standing with his arm around Donald Trump, Jr. (Image above)
FWIW, Shortey is (for now) married.
UPDATE 4:35 CDT: According to KOCO, the Oklahoma Senate voted 42-0 this afternoon to fairly harshly punish Shortey for his actions. That punishment includes:
- Shortey's positions as a vice-chair on the committee on energy and the subcommittee on select agencies of appropriations committee are suspended.
- Shortey's membership on the committee on retirement and insurance, committee on judiciary and committee on appropriations are suspended.
- Shortey's authority to designate an executive assistant pursuant to the provisions of Senate Rule 3-4 is hereby suspended and his executive assistant is hereby placed under the direct supervision of the chief operating officer of the Senate.
- Shortey is directed to immediately return custody of his state-owned laptop computer and any other state-owned property in his possession to the Senate.
- Shorty will no longer be authorized to occupy his office at the State Capitol or his assigned parking spot.
- The provisions of Senate Rule 6-5 are suspended to remove Shortey's name as author or coauthor of any legislation under the control of the Senate. Any other member of the Senate may assume principal authorship or co-authorship of any such legislation as provided in the Senate Rules.
- The allowances for expenses of the office and postage, and for mileage and other travel expenses, granted to Shortey are hereby suspended
- All pages scheduled as of Wednesday, under the sponsorship of Shortey for the remainder of the 2017 legislative session shall be under the sponsorship of the president pro tempore, and no additional pages shall be scheduled under the sponsorship of Shortey for the remainder of the 2017 legislative session.