Secret Service, FBI Now Involved in Senator Shortey Case

Mar 20, 2017

Ralph Shortey
Credit State of Oklahoma-File photo

The FBI and U.S. Secret Service offices in Oklahoma City confirmed they are investigating a Republican state senator who is facing felony child prostitution charges after police say he solicited sex from a 17-year-old boy.

The Secret Service's special agent in charge of the Oklahoma City office, Ken Valentine, confirmed Monday that investigators from his office are assisting in the investigation of state Sen. Ralph Shortey at the request of the Moore Police Department.

Valentine says the agency has access to some of the latest technology for investigating crimes that involve the use of smartphones and computers.

Moore police have said they uncovered a series of electronic messages between Shortey and a 17-year-old boy using the messaging application Kik.

FBI spokeswoman Jessica Rice confirmed Monday that her agency served a search warrant Friday at Shortey's Oklahoma City home. Rice said she could not provide any more details because of a "sensitive ongoing investigation."

No federal charges have been filed against Shortey.

State prosecutors charged Shortey last week with engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church. He was released on a $100,000 bond.

Court records don't show whether Shortey has retained an attorney, and he hasn't responded to texts and voicemails seeking comment.

Oklahoma state retirement officials say Shortey will still be eligible to collect his state retirement, even if he is convicted.

The executive director of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System, Joseph Fox, confirmed Monday Shortey became vested in the state's retirement system last year after serving six years in the Oklahoma Senate.

Fox said state law allows for the forfeiture of retirement benefits only if the felony conviction is for bribery, corruption, forgery, perjury or related to campaign contributions or the duties of office.

If Shortey contributed the maximum amount to his retirement, he would be eligible to collect $9,216 annually after he turns 60.