Leaders of both political parties in Oklahoma, plus GOP Gov. Mary Fallin, have called for the resignation of state Sen. Ralph Shortey in light of his arrest this week for prostitution-related charges.
If he doesn't resign soon, the state Senate could vote to expel him.
However, due to state laws, Shortey will still be eligible for his pension as a lawmaker even if convicted.
Shortey, 35, has been in office long enough that he will get his state retirement. There is a law that strips elected officials of their pension if convicted of a felony like bribery, corruption, or perjury, but it does not include prostitution with a minor.
“Bribery means an automatic revocation of your retirement benefits, doing these things with minor children does not? I think that ought to change,” House Minority Leader Scott Inman said. Even if convicted, Shortey will receive over $9,000 a year from the state when he retires.
If that’s 25 years of retirement, for example, the State of Oklahoma will pay him nearly $230,000. Leader Inman told NewsChannel 4 he plans to file legislation next year to expand the law to include other felonies.
Transcripts of Shortey’s email exchange with the teen include a message from Shortey wherein he promised the boy he would “f**k you like a good little boy if you keep calling me daddy.”
While Oklahoma’s age of consent is 16, child prostitution laws apply to anyone under 18.
Shortey, who is married to his high school sweetheart since 2002 and has children, is still collecting his $38K annual salary as a state senator.