Wednesday, March 15, 2017

State Senate Approves Resolution Imposing Punishment on Sen. Ralph Shortey

Yesterday, news broke that police were investigating State Sen. Ralph Shortey (R-OKC) following an incident involving Shortey and a teenage boy at a local motel. KOCO reported earlier today that Moore police are recommending three prostitution-related charges: soliciting prostitution of a minor, prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting for the purpose of prostitution.

Today, the State Senate voted to suspend Shortey from his legislative privileges, while reserving the right to expel Shortey.

Oklahoma Senate Approves Resolution Imposing Punishment
on Senator Ralph Shortey

The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday approved a resolution imposing punishment upon Senator Ralph Shortey pursuant to provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Copy of Senate Resolution 7

“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,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus.

Here is the text of Senate Resolution 7:

WHEREAS, Section 30 of Article V of the Oklahoma Constitution states that "each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member." Further, acting pursuant to such authority, the Senate has enacted its rules for the 56th Oklahoma
Legislature and such rules delineate rights and privileges granted to members of the Senate.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 56TH OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE:

THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Section 30 of Article V of the Oklahoma Constitution and pursuant to the rules of the Oklahoma State Senate, the Senate hereby imposes the following punishment upon Senator Ralph Shortey for disorderly behavior:

1. Senator Shortey's positions as vice-chair of the Committee on Energy and the Subcommittee on Select Agencies of the Appropriations Committee are hereby suspended;
2. Senator Shortey's membership on the Committee on Retirement and Insurance, Committee on Judiciary and Committee on Appropriations are hereby suspended;
3. Senator Shortey's authority to designate an executive assistant pursuant to the provisions of Senate Rule 3-4 is hereby suspended and his executive assistant is hereby placed under the direct supervision of the Chief Operating Officer of the Senate;
4. Senator Shortey is hereby directed to immediately return custody of his state-owned laptop computer and any other state-owned property in his possession to the Senate;
5. Senator Shortey shall no longer be authorized to occupy his office in Room 412 of the State Capitol or his assigned parking space in the west parking lot of the Capitol, in conjunction with the provisions of subsection E of Senate Rule 2-4;
6. The provisions of Senate Rule 6-5 are hereby suspended to remove Senator Shortey's name as author or coauthor of any legislation under the control of the Senate. Any other member of the Senate may assume principal authorship or coauthorship of any such legislation as provided in the Senate Rules;
7. The allowances for expenses of the office and postage, and for mileage and other travel expenses, granted to Senator Shortey are hereby suspended;
8. All pages scheduled as of March 15, 2017, under the sponsorship of Senator Shortey for the remainder of the 2017 legislative session shall be under the sponsorship of the President Pro Tempore, and no additional pages shall be scheduled under the sponsorship of Senator Shortey for the remainder of the 2017 legislative session.

THAT the Oklahoma State Senate reserves the right to further exercise its powers pursuant to the provisions of Section 30 of Article V of the Oklahoma Constitution or any other provision of law or rule.

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