Authorities in Oklahoma announced that charges could be filed today against an Oklahoma state senator who allegedly violated the cardinal rule of politics, “Never get caught in a hotel with either a dead girl or a live boy.” Police say the Senator was found with a teenage boy in a motel room in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, according to a local spokesperson for the prosecutors office.
On Wednesday, the Cleveland County District Attorney, Greg Mashburn, said that he could not as yet say what charges would be filed against Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey of Oklahoma City. But Mashburn told The Associated Press that police have presented a report to his office and it is now under review.
Local television station, KOCO reported that police in the city of Moore, Oklahoma announced that the department had recommended three prostitution-related charges against the state senator. They included: “soliciting prostitution of a minor” and “prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church.” Mashburn also told reporters: “She (the first assistant district attorney) could send it back for more work or file it as is.” id.
Police in Moore have said they’re still investigating the circumstances surrounding a March 9 incident involving Senator Shortey and a teenager. Police did not immediately return a phone call for further comment. However, Police did released a heavily redacted report that said a juvenile boy was found in a motel room with an adult male on March 9. The names of those in the room and the boy’s age are redacted in the report.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Senate imposed sanctions Wednesday on Shortey, voting 43-0 for a resolution that accuses him of “disorderly behavior.” Among other things, it removes Shortey from membership and leadership of various Senate committees, bars him from occupying his office and reserved parking spot at the Capitol, blocks his expense allowances and authorship of bills, and revokes his right to have an executive assistant. Basically stripping him of almost all rights and privileges of his office. But of course, the politicians did not want to get carried away on the morality train, so Senate officials said Shortey will still receive his $38,400 annual salary as a senator and will be allowed to vote.
Shortey, who was not present in the Senate chamber when the resolution was adopted without opposition, was also not in his Capitol office Wednesday and has not responded to requests for comment. The resolution by Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, a Republican from Altus, was co-sponsored by 44 of the Senate’s 48 senators. In a statement following its passage, Schulz said it was not intended to be “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,” Schulz said. “This resolution reserves the right of the Oklahoma Senate to pursue further action if more facts come to light.”
I’m sure we will be hearing more about this in the days and weeks to come.