Another state lawmaker is expected to resign in disgrace, the fourth this year. Sen. Bryce Marlatt (R-27) was charged with sexual battery after an Uber driver reported he attacked her.
Overall, it's been an embarrassing year for state lawmakers. They passed an unconstitutional tax and forced a special session, failed to reach a budget deal, and have been distracted by one scandal after another.
The legislature rang in 2017 with the resignation of Dan Kirby, of Tulsa, who was accused of sexually harassing two staffers, demanding nude photos from one. One staffer had been paid $44,000 in hush money at taxpayers’ expense.
At the same time, a legislative committee sanctioned Rep. Will Fourkiller (D-86) for allegedly making inappropriate comments toward a high school page. Fourkiller refused to testify before the closed-door committee.
At the time, he said “I want the public to know what happened, that there was nothing that happened and I want my name in an open forum to be cleared.” It never was. Fourkiller accepted the sanctions.
In April, Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) resigned his Senate seat after accusations he embezzled his own campaign funds.
Just Wednesday, Ralph Shortey, former Republican Senator from Oklahoma City, was hit with federal child pornography and child sex trafficking charges, accused of meeting an underage male prostitute in a motel for sex. If convicted, he faces at least 15 years in prison.
Also Wednesday, Marlatt was charged with sexual battery of an Uber driver. The police report shows she picked him up June 26 and "Marlatt then kissed her on the right side of her neck, down to her shoulder, leaving saliva on her neck and shoulder area."
In December 2014, Marlatt pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor after he was found passed out in his parked pickup truck. Police say he reeked of alcohol.
According to state statute, when the legislature is not in session and a member wants to resign, they will have to send their resignation to the governor. So far that hasn't happened.