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Senate GOP leaders brush off questions about growing Senate sex scandal

State Senator Ralph Shortey turns himself in March 16 to the Cleveland County Detention Center. (KOKH)

The first meeting of the Oklahoma State Senate since the arrest of one of its members was business as usual in spite of the growing scandal. Senate leadership is not answering questions about Senator Ralph Shortey, who is facing three criminal charges relating to child prostitution.

FOX 25 made multiple requests to the Senate leadership about what is being done with state-owned equipment used by Senator Shortey. The Senate voted to suspend him last week and stripped all his privileges. The resolution ordered Shortey to return state-owned equipment.

Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus, told FOX 25 he has not requested any law enforcement agency to look at what is in Shortey’s office or what might be on his state-owned electronic devices. FOX 25 asked Senator Schulz why the Senate has not made such a request or if the Senate would be willing to assist investigators looking into Shortey’s involvement with youth. Senator Schulz walked away without answering that question.

Schulz’ communication’s director, Aaron Cooper blocked access to the Pro Tempore as FOX 25 tried to get answers beyond a prepared statement that did not address any of our questions we have posed for several days.

Sources in the Senate tell FOX 25 that Shortey was known to avoid security screenings at the capitol. Some in the Senate are concerned his office might contain weapons. Schulz would also not comment on why Shortey was allowed to avoid security screenings or any concerns about what might be in his office.

The Senate Republican leadership would also not comment on safety concerns regarding the possibility weapons could be present in Shortey’s old office.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation told FOX 25 Monday they did serve a search warrant on Shortey’s personal home last week. They are not commenting on the extent of the federal investigation. The Secret Service also confirmed that are assisting in the investigation into Shortey.

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