Rod Jetton

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Professional portrait of Rod Jetton

Rod Jetton (born September 9, 1967, De Soto, Missouri) is a U.S. politician. He was a Republican member of the Missouri House of Representatives who has represented Missouri's 156th District from 2001 to 2009 and was Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005 to 2009.

Early life[edit]

Jetton was born in De Soto, Missouri, to Bill and Judy Jetton. His father is a Southern Baptist minister who worked at churches in the panhandle of Texas and eastern New Mexico, and in many churches throughout Southeast Missouri.

Jetton graduated from Charleston High School in 1986.[1] He attended Cape Girardeau public schools from 6th to 9th grade but transferred during his freshman year when his father became pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Charleston.

Jetton graduated from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri in May 1990,[1] with a double major in history and political science and was Student Body President his senior year.

Jetton joined the United States Marine Corps and served as an Infantry Officer for four years. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and was involved in the Bosnia and Somalia operations.[1] After finishing his tour in 1995, Jetton received an honorable discharge.

After leaving the Marine Corps, Jetton started Jetton James Real Estate Company.

Speaker of the House[edit]

After college, Jetton joined Congressman Bill Emerson's campaign team as a field coordinator, and gained valuable experience in local grass roots politics. In 1996, he was elected to the Bollinger County Commission. He was the youngest County Commissioner in the state at that time[1]

In 2000, Jetton was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives where he served until 2009. In his second term, he was chosen Speaker pro Tempore of the Missouri House. On January 5, 2005, he was sworn in as the 70th Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives.

In his first term as speaker he launched Common Sense Conservative Consulting which advised some people who were seeking legislation in the state. The Missouri State Ethics Commission said it was a legal but questionable practice.[2] In September 2007 House Republicans took the unusual step of naming Jetton's successor (Ron Richard) two years before Richard took office.

In 2007, Jetton unintentionally voted for a rider to repeal Missouri's law banning gay sex. The rider was attached to a Jessica's Law bill. Jetton said he did not know about the rider. While Jetton acknowledged the ban was unenforceable because of the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas ruling, he said, “Thanks to that deletion, it is now legal to engage in deviate sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex here in Missouri.”[3] In response, Jetton removed state representative Scott A. Lipke of Jackson, Missouri, as chair of the Committee on Crime Prevention and Public Safety because he thought Lipke should have told lawmakers about the rider.

Personal[edit]

Jetton is a member of VFW Post 5900, Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The Bollinger County Chamber of Commerce gave him the "One Year VIP Business Achievement Award" in 1998 for his leadership and service to the community.

He was married to the former Cassandra (Cassie) James from 1988 until their divorce in October 2009. He has three children, Callie, Elaine and Will. Jetton told The Southeast Missourian newspaper in July 2011 that he has now remarried and is working for civil engineering company in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He also serves as a contributing blogger for a political website, The Recovering Politician.[4]

2009 arrest[edit]

On December 7, 2009, Jetton was charged with felony assault related to an incident that occurred on November 15, 2009 in which Jetton allegedly "recklessly caused serious physical injury" to an unnamed woman.[5][6][7]

According to the complaint Jetton met the woman, with whom he had not had a relationship before, to have sadomasochistic sex. He is accused of “hitting her on the head and choking her, resulting in unconsciousness and the loss of the function of a part of her body” during the encounter November 15 and 16, 2009, in Sikeston, Missouri. The two had according to the complaint agreed to use a safeword of “green balloons.” Jetton is accused of telling the woman the following morning, “You should have said ‘green balloons.’" The woman said that she began ‘fading’ in and out and remembered losing consciousness several times” after drinking a glass of wine that Jetton had prepared for her.[2] The woman reported the case two days after the incident.[8]

The woman said she had known Jetton while growing up on Charleston. The woman who was also recently divorced reported that she had renewed contact with Jetton via Facebook[9] to push for legislation on behalf of victims of sexual abuse spurred by her affiliation with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Jetton's lawyer in a February 24, 2010 hearing released text messages from the woman implying that she might be open to rough sex. The woman at the hearing said the texts were meant to be playful and had been taken out of context.[8]

Following the arrest he closed Rod Jetton & Associate, which catered to many high-profile clients, including Mitt Romney.[10][11]

A trial on the case moved from October 2010 to February 3, 2011.[12] and then to June 2, 2011.[13] In May 2011 it was reported that he pled guilty to misdemeanor assault, was placed on probation. He is to pay $950 in restitution, and $300 in court costs.[14]

2010 Grand Jury investigation[edit]

In early 2010 various state officials said they testified before a grand jury investigation in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City. Some of those testifying said they questioning the handling of a 2005 bill regulating adult entertainment. The bill introduced by Matt Bartle would have enacted a $5 per customer admission fee for strip clubs, adult movie houses and other sexually oriented businesses, along with a 20 percent tax on the revenue. After the bill was introduced a political action committee with connections to Jetton adviser Don Lograsso accepted a $35,000 donation from the adult entertainment industry.[15]

Jetton assigned the bill to a committee chaired by Robert T. Johnson of Lee's Summit, Missouri and Johnson killed the bill.[16] Jetton has said there was no quid pro quo and that he assigned the bill to an unfriendly committee because he did not like the bill.[15]

The Grand Jury adjourned without filing any indictments. Missouri law says the statute of limitations is 5 years in bribery cases and 2010 was five years after the event took place.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Missouri House Biography - missouri.gov - Retrieved December 12, 2009
  2. ^ a b Former Missouri House speaker charged with assault – Kansas City Star – December 7, 2009. Accessed December 8, 2009.
  3. ^ Jetton, Rod (7 February 2007), Jetton explains why Lipke was removed, Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau, Missouri), retrieved 8 December 2009 
  4. ^ "Rod Jetton discusses his downfall...". The Southeast Missourian newspaper website. 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  5. ^ KY3 Political Notebook: Jetton in Probable Cause: "You Should've Said Green Balloons"
  6. ^ http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/political-fix/political-fix/2009/12/felony-assault-charge-filed-against-former-speaker-rod-jetton/
  7. ^ Primebuzz blog at the Kansas City Star website. Accessed December 8, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Assault case to proceed against Jetton, former speaker of Missouri House - Kansas City Star - February 24, 2010
  9. ^ case will go ahead - Associated Press - via St. Louis Post-Dispatch - February 25, 2010
  10. ^ Google Cache of Rod Jetton & Associates at www.rodjetton.com/clients.html. Accessed December 8, 2009.
  11. ^ BREAKING: Jetton to close doors of consulting firm – primebuzz.kcstar.com. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  12. ^ seMissourian.com: Local News: New trial date set in Jetton's assault case (10/26/10)
  13. ^ http://www.semissourian.com/story/1697929.html
  14. ^ http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/political-fix/article_4d575aea-87e3-11e0-8db8-001a4bcf6878.html
  15. ^ a b Rod Jetton says strip club bill was doomed because he didn't like Matt Bartle - Kansas City Pitch - February 3, 2010
  16. ^ Former Mo. lawmaker testifies before grand jury - Associated Press via stltoday.com - March 10, 2010
  17. ^ Bribery indictment unlikely this month for Jetton - BusinessWeek

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Catherine Hanaway
Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives
2005–2009
Succeeded by
Ron Richard