The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Joplin Metro

April 2, 2010

Joplin officer’s job status remains unresolved

By Jeff Lehr

A Joplin police officer, who is facing a felony charge of possessing nude photos and videos of a 17-year-old girlfriend, remained on paid administrative leave Friday without any disciplinary action having been taken by the city.

Jonathan D. White, 23, was arrested March 20 after an initial administrative investigation by the internal-affairs division of the Joplin Police Department and a resulting criminal investigation by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department.

He was charged with felony possession of child pornography after photos and videos of a 17-year-old girl allegedly were found on his cell phone and computer.

White was placed on paid administrative leave immediately following his arrest. His job status with the city had not changed by Friday, according to police Chief Lane Roberts.

“Jonathan White is being afforded the same procedural benefits as those offered to all employees,” Roberts told the Globe in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.

A fact-finding hearing was scheduled for the officer March 24 but did not take place, according to Roberts. The police chief declined to say why the hearing was not held.

Roberts said that both he and Reba Snavely, the city’s director of human resources, submitted recommendations this week to City Manager Mark Rohr regarding possible disciplinary measures with respect to White. The city manager had taken no action by Friday.

“He is reviewing it to assure whatever decision he makes is a just decision,” Roberts said.

Roberts declined to discuss any aspect of the internal-affairs investigation. A prior statement issued by the Joplin Police Department said the administrative investigation was prompted by a complaint received regarding the appropriateness of the officer’s relationship with the girl.

State and federal laws make possession of nude photographs or videos of anyone younger than 18 illegal. Missouri law, however, does not prohibit someone 21 or older from having consensual sexual relations with a 17-year-old. Statutory sex offenses apply to juveniles younger than 17. Roberts previously declined to comment on the apparent incongruity in the two laws.

Text Only
Joplin Metro
  • Ruby-Sapp-obit.jpg Longtime Democrat dies at 81

    Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.

    August 9, 2010 1 Photo

  • Nixon visits Joplin to sign breast density bill

    Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation at Freeman Hospital on Tuesday that will require radiologists in Missouri to provide information about breast density on post-mammogram reports.

    July 1, 2014

  • 0610Meyer,Carroll.jpg Defendant draws 10 years for assault of ex-girlfriend

    A Jasper County judge today sentenced a rural Joplin man to 10 years in prison for an assault on an  ex-girlfriend with a walking stick that left one of her eyes detached from its socket.

    June 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rural Joplin child dies from gunshot wound to head

    A 3-year-old girl died Monday at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Freeman Health Systems after suffering a gunshot wound to the head. The incident occurred at the child's home in rural Joplin, said Sheriff Ken Copeland.

    June 2, 2014

  • Suspect in coach's slaying posts bond

    Jeffrey Bruner posted bond shortly before noon today and was released from the Jasper County Jail in Carthage.

    May 7, 2014

  • Downtown group warns about Third Thursday mail scam

    Officials with the Downtown Joplin Alliance on Friday announced that a mail scam involving Third Thursday has been discovered.

    April 25, 2014

  • PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued

    As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.

    The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.

    April 16, 2014

  • r091813cityhall.jpg PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order

    As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • In City Council race, Joplin voters elect two newcomers, three incumbents

    Joplin voters rejected two incumbents who voted to fire City Manager Mark Rohr, instead electing two newcomers and returning three incumbents to the City Council who had supported Rohr.

    April 8, 2014

  • Joplin voters reject all three charter changes

    The changes were placed on the ballot by the City Council acting upon recommendations by a Charter Review Commission that met last fall.

    April 8, 2014