LAKE PLACID - U.S. Marshals arrested former Assemblyman George Chris Ortloff around 5 p.m. on Monday on child pornography and soliciting charges.
Ortloff, 61, was arrested in a Plattsburgh-area motel room after state police and U.S. Marshals cooperated in a sting operation. Ortloff allegedly arranged over the Internet to meet an underaged victim in a hotel room for sex, and had child pornography and "sex paraphernalia" in his possession. Federal authorities confiscated his computer at his office at the Coldwell Banker real estate office in Lake Placid the same afternoon. Ortloff was transported to Albany County Jail, where he was still being held this morning.
Ortloff will appear in federal court in Albany at 1:30 p.m. today. Police said Ortloff will likely face felony state sex charges and could be charged with violating federal anti-child-pornography statutes.
Ortloff was born and grew up in Lake Placid, and he served in the state Assembly from 1986 until 2006 as a Republican. He represented the 110th District, which included areas of Clinton and Franklin counties when Ortloff represented it. It has since been expanded to include more of Franklin County and the town of St. Armand in Essex County. This seat is currently held by Janet Duprey of Peru. He decided not to run for re-election in 2006 when then-Gov. George Pataki appointed him to a six-year term on the state Parole Board. He is married with two sons.
Ortloff has a master's degree in journalism and political science from the University of Michigan, and had worked as a reporter for the Lake Placid News, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, WNBZ radio, National Public Radio and WPTZ TV.
"I hired Chris Ortloff when he went to Vietnam, to write an article about a local soldier being in the war," said Howard Riley, who was editor of the Lake Placid News at the time.
Riley said he was "just as shocked at the news as I was at the news about Eliot Spitzer," and that he kept in touch with Ortloff for his first few years in Albany.
"I went down there when I worked in various agencies," Riley said. "He was a great Assemblyman, I thought."