Republican State Senator Stripped Of Duties Amid Scandal

Friday, July 7th 2017, 10:38 pm
By: Grant Hermes

Republican State Senator Bryce Marlatt (R-Woodward) will be stripped from his committee leadership positions after accusations he made unwanted advances toward an Uber driver in June.

In a letter, Senate President Pro-tem Mike Schulz (R-Altus) said Marlatt will be removed from his chairmanship of the Senate Energy Committee and his vice-chairmanships of the Rules and Transportation Committees. The letter was only sent to Republicans.

Staff from several Democratic offices said they learned about the removal through news reports.  

"It is my expectation that every member conduct himself or herself in a manner that is above reproach." Schulz wrote, "Allegations like those contained in the police report... are very serious and are not tolerated."

Marlatt is accused of making unwanted advances toward an Uber driver last month. The driver told Oklahoma City police he grabbed her forcefully and kissed her neck while she drove him to The Pump, a bar near NW23rd St. and Broadway. Marlatt has not been arrested and charges have not been filed.

An Uber spokesperson said company officials have spoken with their driver and the is cooperating fully with Oklahoma City Police adding, "What's been reported is not tolerated and has no place on the Uber app."

Marlatt is the fourth Republican legislator to be caught in a scandal this year. Senators Kyle Loveless and Ralph Shortey and Representative Dan Kirby. All of them were forced to resign.

4/27/17 Related Story: After Third Resignation, Is The Oklahoma GOP In Trouble?

If Marlatt resigns his seat, his would be the eighth legislative seat, all Republican, to be vacated in the same session cycle.