Rod Jetton

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Rod Jetton
Professional portrait of Rod Jetton
70th Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives
In office
Preceded by Catherine Hanaway
Succeeded by Ron Richard
Personal details
Born (1967-09-09) September 9, 1967 (age 50)
De Soto, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Southwest Baptist University

Rod Jetton (born September 9, 1967 in De Soto, Missouri) is a U.S. politician. He was a Republican member of the Missouri House of Representatives who 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.[2][3] 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[4][5].

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.[6] 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.”[7] 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.


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[4][5][3]. 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[8][9][3], and has written several books[4][10][11].

In 2017, Jetton moved to Greece to pursue a Masters of Arts degree at the University of Macedonia. The master's program focused on the politics and economics of eastern and southeastern Europe with sections on the how refugees are impacting the European Union[2]

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.[12][13][14][4][5]

Jetton originally met the accuser while attending high school in Charleston Missouri. The woman reported that she had renewed contact with Jetton via Facebook[15] to push for legislation on behalf of victims of sexual abuse spurred by her affiliation with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. The initial reconnection was followed by what both parties described as flirtatious or sexual communication over the phone and text messages. 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, however it has been shown that she and Jetton established a safeword of “green balloons”, a common practice when engaging in sadomasochistic sex. [16][17][18]

According to the complaint Jetton met the woman, with whom he had previously engaged in "rough sex"[19], on November 15 and 16, 2009 in Sikeston, Missouri to have sadomasochistic sex. 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. 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. The woman claimed that her hands had been bound during a segment of the encounter and that she had struggled against the restraints, but photos of her wrists after the incident did not show any bruising on her wrists. Jetton is accused of telling the woman the following morning, “You should have said ‘green balloons.," a reference to the safeword they had established before meeting as a safety measure.[6][16][18]

The woman reported the case two days after the incident.[16] The Missouri Highway Patrol initially recommended that the accuser file rape and assault charges against Jetton, however this recommendation was dropped after the accuser's story changed and investigators examined text messages that had been sent between the accuser and Jetton. It was also found that the accuser had a history of filing sexual assault charges and restraining orders before dropping them. While seeking full custody of his children, the accuser's ex-husband was quoted as saying that the accuser, who had attempted to file a restraining order against him, "suffers from various and sundry mental diseases and defects" and "is at risk of exposing the minor children to inappropriate behavior on her part and that of men with whom she continues to have casual sexual relationships with."[18][17]

Following the arrest he closed Rod Jetton & Associate, which catered to many high-profile clients, including Mitt Romney.[20][21][5][22][11]

A trial on the case moved from October 2010 to February 3, 2011.[23] and then to June 2, 2011.[24] In May 2011 it was reported that he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault[4][22][3], was placed on probation. He is to pay $950 in restitution, and $300 in court costs.[19][3]

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[5]. 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.[25][26]

Jetton assigned the bill to a committee chaired by Robert T. Johnson of Lee's Summit, Missouri and Johnson killed the bill.[27] 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.[25]

The Grand Jury adjourned without filing any indictments[5][22]. Missouri law says the statute of limitations is 5 years in bribery cases and 2010 was five years after the event took place.[28]


In 2013, Jetton co-authored The Recovering Politician's Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis along with thirteen other authors. The book, featured on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews"[29] and HuffPost Live[30], featured a number of "recovering politicians" writing about how to manage personal crises.[5][31][11][32] His first book was followed later in 2013 with Son of a Preacher Man: Growing up in the Seventies and Eighties, an autobiography that detailed Jetton's struggle when trying to follow the teachings of his father who was a southern baptist preacher.[33] Success Can Kill You: One man's story of success, failure and forgiveness, published in 2014, explorers Jetton's political success and eventual disgrace; examining the causes of his behavior and his eventual return to christian teachings.[34][4] Jetton's 2016 book, Prayer Warrior Bootcamp, examines biblical teachings about prayer and prayer techniques.[35] Cussing Christians, written in 2017, looks at biblical references to profanity.[36][37][38]

Title Year ISBN
Success Can Kill You: One Man's Story of Success, Failure and Forgiveness 2014 978-0991312627[39]
Cussing Christians: We Love Jesus (but we cuss a little) 2017 978-0991312641[40]
The Recovering Politician's Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis 2013 978-0615819044[41]
Prayer Warrior Bootcamp 2016 978-0991312634[42]
Son of a Preacher Man: Growing up in the Seventies and Eighties 2013 978-0991312603[43]


  1. ^ a b c d Missouri House Biography - - Retrieved December 12, 2009
  2. ^ a b "Jetton heading to Greece in search of Master's degree". The Missouri Times. 2017-05-16. Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Rod Jetton discusses his downfall, says he's returning to his religious upbringing". 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Rosenbaum, Jason. "A Missouri Power Broker's Fall: Rod Jetton's New Book Raises Questions About Politics". Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g 518-3614, KEVIN R. JENKINS (573). "Rod Jetton isn't afraid to say he's sorry". Daily Journal Online. Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  6. ^ a b Former Missouri House speaker charged with assault – Kansas City Star – December 7, 2009. Accessed December 8, 2009.
  7. ^ Jetton, Rod (7 February 2007), "Jetton explains why Lipke was removed", Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, retrieved 8 December 2009 
  8. ^ "Rod Jetton discusses his downfall..." The Southeast Missourian newspaper website. 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  9. ^ "Rod Jetton". The Recovering Politician. Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  10. ^ "Rod Jetton". Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  11. ^ a b c "The Recovering Politician – Ideasmyth". Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  12. ^ KY3 Political Notebook: Jetton in Probable Cause: "You Should've Said Green Balloons"
  13. ^
  14. ^ Primebuzz blog at the Kansas City Star website. Accessed December 8, 2009.
  15. ^ case will go ahead - Associated Press - via St. Louis Post-Dispatch - February 25, 2010
  16. ^ a b c Assault case to proceed against Jetton, former speaker of Missouri House - Kansas City Star - February 24, 2010
  17. ^ a b Hamilton, Keegan. "Newspapers Question Integrity of Rod Jetton's Accuser". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  18. ^ a b c "Rod Jetton assault case going to trial; newspaper raises questions about accuser". Kansas City Pitch. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^ Google Cache of Rod Jetton & Associates at Accessed December 8, 2009.
  21. ^ BREAKING: Jetton to close doors of consulting firm – Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  22. ^ a b c "SBJ names Rodney Jetton Top Local Sales & Marketing Executive for Southwest Missouri". Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  23. ^ Local News: New trial date set in Jetton's assault case (10/26/10)
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b Rod Jetton says strip club bill was doomed because he didn't like Matt Bartle - Kansas City Pitch - February 3, 2010
  26. ^ Messenger, Tony. "UPDATE: Sen. Matt Bartle appears before federal grand jury in KC". Retrieved 2018-04-11. 
  27. ^ Former Mo. lawmaker testifies before grand jury - Associated Press via - March 10, 2010
  28. ^ Bribery indictment unlikely this month for Jetton - BusinessWeek
  29. ^ "Chris Matthews Plugs "The Recovering Politician's Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis" on Hardball". The Recovering Politician. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  30. ^ Jonathan_Miller (2011-10-04). "New Year's Resolutions From a Recovering Politician". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  31. ^ results, search; Davis, Artur; results, search; results, search; Atkinson, Jason; Steele, Michael; Levy, Steve; results, search; Borders, Lisa (2013-05-29). The Recovering Politician's Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis. The Recovering Politician. ISBN 9780615819044. 
  32. ^ Times, Show Me (2013-06-06). "Former MO House Speaker, Rod Jetton, Co-Writes Book". ShowMe Times. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  33. ^ Jetton, Rodney (2013-12-18). Son of a Preacher Man: Growing up in the Seventies and Eighties. Targeted Communications. ISBN 9780991312603. 
  34. ^ Jetton, Rodney (2014-03-21). Success Can Kill You: One man's story of success, failure and forgiveness. Targeted Communications. ISBN 9780991312627. 
  35. ^ Jetton, Rodney; Murray, Andrew; Bounds, E. M. (2016-07-10). Prayer Warrior Bootcamp (1 edition ed.). Targeted Communications. ISBN 9780991312634. 
  36. ^ Jetton, Rodney (2017-02-15). Cussing Christians: We Love Jesus (but we cuss a little) / A short discussion on the language we use outside of church. Targeted Communications. ISBN 9780991312641. 
  37. ^ "CUSSING CHRISTIANS". Rod Jetton. 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  38. ^ Times, Show Me (2016-08-22). "Cussing Christians by Rod Jetton". ShowMe Times. Retrieved 2018-04-12. 
  39. ^ Rodney, Jetton. Success can kill you : one man's story of success, failure, faith and forgiveness. Lexington, KY. ISBN 9780991312627. OCLC 890465566. 
  40. ^ Rodney, Jetton. Success can kill you : one man's story of success, failure, faith and forgiveness. Lexington, KY. ISBN 0991312627. OCLC 890465566. 
  41. ^ Rodney, Jetton (2013). The Recovering Politician's Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis. ISBN 978-0615819044. 
  42. ^ Jetton, Rodney (2016). Prayer Warrior Bootcamp. Targeted Communications. ISBN 978-0991312634. 
  43. ^ Rodney, Jetton (2013). Son of a Preacher Man: Growing up in the Seventies and Eighties. Targeted Communications. ISBN 978-0991312603. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Catherine Hanaway
Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Ron Richard