State Senator Ralph Shortey’s attorney says his client will resign from the legislature.
The Oklahoman reports Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, hired Ed Blau as his defense attorney. Blau said Monday night that he has advised Shortey to step down. Blau said Shortey agreed and will resign on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.
Shortey faces three child prostitution-related charges for allegedly agreeing to pay a juvenile boy for sex. The Cleveland County district attorney has charged Shortey with engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution.
Nolan Clay reports in the Oklahoman that agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have confirmed they searched Shortey’s home.
"I can confirm that the FBI executed a search warrant at Shortey's residence on Friday," FBI spokeswoman Jessica Rice said in an email Monday. "Unfortunately, at this time, I cannot release more details as this is a sensitive ongoing investigation."
A federal magistrate judge authorized the search Friday. The federal search warrant and other paperwork remained under seal Monday.
The FBI's sex trafficking investigation could result in a federal criminal case against Shortey.
The Oklahoma Senate stripped Shortey of most of his privileges last week, including his office, parking spot and authorship of any pending legislation this is still alive.
eCapitol reports the state Senate is cooperating with the investigation. Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, R-Altus, has said it is inappropriate to comment on the pending investigation.
eCapitol first asked March 14 whether Shortey's office had been searched by the Moore Police Department when a published report indicated he was being investigated after being found early in the morning March 9 with a 17-year old boy in a hotel room. eCapitol asked again Monday whether local authorities or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which searched Shortey's home Friday and confirmed it is involved in the investigation, had been given access to his office. eCapitol also asked Monday whether Shortey has returned his state-issued computer as he was directed in SR0007.
None of the questions have been answered directly.
Sean Murphy of the Associated Press reports the U.S. Secret Service is assisting the Moore Police Department in their investigation of Shortey, according to special agent Ken Valentine in the agency’s Oklahoma City office.
"Where we have expertise, be it in cyber or electronics, that we can assist them with, then we do," Valentine said.
No federal charges have been filed against Shortey
The AP reports Shortey became vested in Oklahoma’s retirement system in 2016 after serving in the state Senate for six years. Even if he is convicted, he will likely be able to collect his retirement benefits.
If Shortey contributed the maximum amount to his retirement, he would be eligible to collect $9,216 annually after he turns 60, according to state retirement calculations.