OKLAHOMA REPUBLICAN WHO ALLEGEDLY HIRED UNDERAGE PROSTITUTE RESIGNS, CLAIMS THAT HE IS INNOCENT

Oklahoma senators moved quickly to put the latest scandal behind them after Sen. Ralph Shortey resigned Wednesday afternoon.

“With this resignation, the Oklahoma Senate now moves forward with the important business of the people of the great state of Oklahoma,” the Senate Republican leader, Mike Schulz, said.

Already planning to run for the now-vacant seat is attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez, a Democrat who lost to Shortey in 2014. “Today, a chapter of failed leadership has closed. We find ourselves ready to restore the voters’ trust and bring integrity back to the office,” Brooks-Jimenez said Wednesday.

Shortey was charged March 16 with three felonies — engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting a minor for prostitution.

Officers found Shortey and the teenager in a room at the Super 8 in Moore. Police went to the hotel about 1 a.m. March 9 after being called by the teenager’s father. Shortey had rented the room for a night.

The key evidence against Shortey is a graphic online conversation police found on the teenager’s Kindle tablet. Police reported the online conversation was between the teenager and Shortey, who used the alias, “Jamie Tilley.”

Police reported the teenager wrote, “I need money for spring break.” Police reported Shortey replied, “I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help with right now. Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?” Police reported the juvenile then wrote, “Yes.”

Police also reported finding an opened box of condoms in Shortey’s backpack and a bottle of lotion in the teenager’s backpack after confronting them in room 120.

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