The latest in a string of Republicans to resign in disgrace, State Sen. Bryce Marlatt stepped down today after being booked into the Oklahoma County Jail this morning for one felony count of sexual battery. He was released on bond.
The charge stems from an incident in late June, when Marlatt attempted to assault an Uber driver in Oklahoma City who was driving him to a bar. Marlatt had previously had a DUI-related charge a year or two ago, but evidently alcohol got him into more trouble again.
Marlatt had represented Senate District 27 (Panhandle and northwest corner of the state) since 2008, and was the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee before being removed after news of the incident broke in July.
Marlatt joins an illustrious "club" of legislators (all Republican) who have resigned from office in recent years due to sexual or legal misdoings:
- State Sen. Rick Brinkley resigned in August 2015 after embezzling nearly $2M to support his gambling addiction
- State Rep. Dan Kirby resigned in February 2017 after allegations he sexual harassed his assistant
- State Sen. Ralph Shortey resigned after being charged with child prostitution in March 2017
- State Sen. Kyle Loveless resigned in April over campaign ethics violations and embezzlement
This creates the eighth empty seat
in the state legislature since the 2016 election. Aside from Kirby, Shortey and Loveless mentioned above, the other vacancies are State Rep. Tom Newell (for a private sector job
), State Rep. Scott Martin (for private sector job
), State Rep. David Brumbaugh's sudden death
, and State Sen. Dan Newberry (resignation to take a private sector job