Former Senator Shortey’s extensive history of child work now in - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Former Senator Shortey’s extensive history of child work now in question

Sen. Ralph Shortey (Source OKSenate.gov) Sen. Ralph Shortey (Source OKSenate.gov)

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KFOR) — Former Republican state senator Ralph Shortey spent 17 years working with a program that introduces young people to government.

Senator Ralph Shortey is accused of soliciting sex from a 17-year-old boy. Moore police arrested Shortey last week after finding him with the boy in a hotel room.

The FBI and Secret Service have joined the investigation. The FBI conducted a search of Shortey's home, and the Secret Service is lending their expertise in computer and cell phone forensics to local law enforcement agencies.

Shortey was known for his long-running involvement in a YMCA's youth government program. He joined the program in high school and later served as a chaperone on several out-of-state trips. YMCA spokeswoman Brenda Bennett said she did not know of any allegations of wrongdoing involving his work.

He also volunteered as a bus driver for children who attended Oklahoma City's Southwest Baptist Church, where he attended services since his own childhood.

Shortey also worked earlier this year as a consultant for former state Rep. Dan Kirby, a Republican from Tulsa who resigned after being accused of sexually harassing two former legislative assistants.

Joe Dorman, a former Democratic state representative who was active in the same youth program, said the 35-year-old lawmaker was "peculiar" and "a little quirky."

"But in politics, you see all kinds of personalities," Dorman said. "But I would have never expected this."

"I was unaware of him having any close friendships here in the Senate," said Republican Sen. David Holt, who was first elected to the Senate in 2010, the same year as Shortey. "He was here so seldom that it made it hard to get to know him."

Shortey's voting record shows that despite living in the state's capital city, he missed nearly half of the votes before his Senate privileges were suspended.

Information provided by KFOR. 

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