Calmer weather in store this week

Oklahoma state senator charged with felonies involving a minor recently led controversial bill battle

MOORE, Okla. – After charges were filed against a high-profile Oklahoma senator, many are wondering what is next for his career.

On March 9, Moore police were called to the Super 8 Motel in regards to a welfare check.

As officers approached the motel room, the police report indicates they “could smell a strong odor of raw marijuana.”

After being told officers would use a master-key to come inside, the door opened and police allegedly discovered a 17-year-old boy in a room with Oklahoma Sen. Ralph Shortey.

Prior to being found, the affidavit claims the pair were texting back and forth using the Kik app regarding money.

The teen reportedly asked Shortey if he needed help with anything so he could earn money for spring break.

“I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help with right now. Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?” the report alleges Shortey replied.

The affidavit goes into graphic detail about the exchanges between the two.

During that conversation, the affidavit alleges that Shortey also asked the teen to bring pipe and a lighter.

While speaking with investigators, the teen reported told police that they “were smoking marijuana when officers knocked on the door.”

According to an affidavit, the teen told authorities that he and Shortey have known each other for about one year.  He said they originally met last year thought a Craigslist personal encounter ad.

On Thursday, Shortey was officially charged with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting a minor for prostitution.

Shortey is a 35-year-old Republican who has served in the Oklahoma Senate since 2010. He represents District 44, which spans across Oklahoma and Canadian counties.

He is married and has three children. He graduated from West Moore High School in 2000 and attended Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, according to his profile on the Oklahoma Senate’s website.

He has been involved with teens on a regular basis through the YMCA Youth in government program and as a senior staffer at Boys State.

Ralph Shortey

Shortey has been in the headlines recently for a controversial measure that he authored.

In recent weeks, Shortey was at the center of a heated town hall meeting after proposing a bill that would have changed a law that was approved by voters in November.

Senate Bill 512 would have made it a felony for anyone to be in possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, except marijuana. It also added that any person who is found with any of the drugs near a school, park or in the presence of a child under 12-years-old would be guilty of a felony. The bill did not make it through the necessary committee to move forward this session.

He also filed a bill that would cut funding to ‘sanctuary cities.’

The Senate passed a resolution Wednesday to suspend Shortey from all committees and strip his name from all legislation.

He can no longer occupy his office or parking spot and must return all state property in his possession.

Shortey’s seat was empty as the vote passed unanimously.