PLATTSBURGH — Former north country politician Chris Ortloff is getting out of prison Friday according to a Federal Bureau of Prisons online inmate database.
Ortloff, full name George Christian Ortloff, 72, was sentenced to 12 and-a-half years in federal prison back in August of 2010 for charges related to him attempting to set up a sexual encounter with 11- and 12-year-old girls in 2008.
He is currently serving time in Federal Correctional Institution Danbury, a low-security federal prison in Danbury, Conn.
The “girls” were actually fictitious, made up by investigators involved in a sting operation that culminated in Ortloff’s 2008 arrest at a motel near Albany where he thought he would be meeting up with the underage individuals.
A Plattsburgh Republican, Ortloff served 10 terms in the state Assembly in the former 110th Assembly District, which covered parts of Clinton, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties.
First elected in the February 1986 special election, Ortloff served as a minority member of the Legislature’s lower house until 2006. He decided not to run for re-election when former Clinton County Treasurer Janet L. Duprey launched a primary bid against him. After resigning from the Assembly, Ortloff was appointed to the 19-member state Board of Parole by former Gov. George E. Pataki. The board determines the dates and conditions of release for state inmates with indeterminate sentences and also may revoke parole. Ortloff’s six-year term expired in June 2012; his annual salary was $101,600.
While an assemblyman, Ortloff fought against the excessive winter use of road salt because of its environmental damage, but voted against bills he thought were not tough enough. In a Jan. 23, 1995, letter to the Watertown Daily Times, he chided critics of his environmental record, saying his record was one of “building bridges.”
“The environment does not belong to any one political party, or any single interest group,” Ortloff wrote. “A mature environmental policy should permit robust debate among committed conservationists who may differ about the best methods to achieve the goal of a clean, safe environment.”
Ortloff resigned from the parole board following his 2008 arrest.
As conditions of his 2010 sentencing, Ortloff was fined $50,000, will have to register as a sex offender and will be supervised for the rest of his life upon release.
The prison in Danbury would not provide information as to where Ortloff will be heading once he leaves prison.
City of Plattsburgh Police Chief Levi Ritter said his department will be aware if Ortloff returns to Plattsburgh upon his release from prison.
“That’s why they have the sex offender registry,” Ritter said.
“So we can keep a close eye,”
Before his political career, Ortloff, a native of Lake Placid, was an anchorman for WPTZ News Channel 5 and was director of medals ceremonies for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Before that he was a reporter for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.