Oklahoma Senate Punishes Senator Amid Investigation

<p>The Oklahoma Senate unanimously passed a resolution to &ldquo;impose punishment&rdquo; on Sen. Ralph Shortey, in light of Moore Police investigation into an alleged incident with a minor.</p>

Wednesday, March 15th 2017, 3:44 pm

By: News 9

The Oklahoma Senate unanimously passed a resolution to “impose punishment” on Sen. Ralph Shortey, in light of Moore Police investigation into an alleged incident with a minor.

Sources tell News 9 Shortey’s punishment includes all of the following: Loss of vice chair and chairmanships; Removal from all committees; removal of executive assistant; Loss of laptop and other state property; Loss of office and assigned parking; Removal of his name from all of his bills; Cancellation of office expenditures and pages. The vote was 43-0.

The resolution also gives the Senate the opportunity to expel Shortey if they choose to with a two-thirds majority vote.

Senate Pro Tempore Mike Schulz (R-Altus) issued the following statement regarding the approval of the resolution to punish 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.

Shortey (R-Dist. 44) is being investigated by police over an alleged incident involving a teenage boy at a Moore motel, according to Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.

Moore Police said they were called to a motel for a welfare check on March 9 and found the room was occupied by a juvenile male and an adult male. 

The Super 8 shift manager told News 9 reporter Lisa Monahan that Shortey rented a room on March 8 and checked in after midnight on March 9. The room was registered to Shortey, who according to the manger, indicated that there would be two people staying in the room. The manager could not say what time police arrived to the Super 8. 

The Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, Pam Pollard, issued a statement on the allegations surrounding Shortey:

We condemn the actions of Senator Ralph Shortey to the strongest degree. While we believe in the right to a fair trial and that all people deserve their day in court, the accusations against Ralph Shortey are in no way in line with the principles of the Oklahoma Republican Party.

No person, particularly a child, should be subjected to sex crimes. The Oklahoma Republican Party stands in support of efforts to protect children, families and victims of sex crimes. Clearly, we are horrified by the allegations against Senator Ralph Shortey and that he may have taken detestable actions against children. If proven to be true, appropriate justice should be served.

Vice President of Communications for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City also issued a statement on Shortey: 

We are aware of what has been reported about Senator Shortey, our Youth and Government judicial program volunteer coordinator. Senator Shortey has voluntarily removed himself from the program pending the outcome of the investigation.  We will await to see how this case progresses before determining next steps.

Freedom Oklahoma executive director Troy Stevenson released a statement after the resolution to punish Shortey passed. Stevenson said, in part:

Freedom Oklahoma commends the Senate for taking swift action in sanctioning Senator Shortey in this matter and will closely follow the investigation when and if charges are filed by the Cleveland County District Attorney. We hope Senator Shortey's hypocrisy will show Oklahoma lawmakers the bias caused by ill-conceived and discriminatory legislation, and that they will refrain from passing or proposing laws that put the LGBTQ community in jeopardy. 

Keep checking with News 9 and News9.com for more information.


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