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.
By Jeff Lehr
- Joplin Metro
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three incumbents returned to Carl Junction posts
Voters in the Carl Junction area on Tuesday decided leadership positions on the Carl Junction School Board and City Council.
Two new faces, one incumbent win Joplin School Board seats
The top three vote-getters for open seats on the board were Debbie Fort, with 4,765 votes; Lynda Banwart, with 4,532 votes; and incumbent Randy Steele, with 3,300 votes, according to complete but unofficial results from Jasper and Newton counties.
Joplin voters reject curbside recycling
City voters in Jasper and Newton counties cast 3,835 "no" votes and 3,466 "yes" votes on the issue, according to complete but unofficial results.
Council votes to waive appeal of court order, release full investigation
The Joplin City Council voted 6-3 Thursday night to waive an appeal of Judge David Mouton's ruling ordering the city to disclose the Rohr report and witness testimony in a controversial council investigation.
UPDATE: Police release name of murder victim; autopsy scheduled
Police have identified the man murdered in his apartment at the Housing Authority of Joplin complex as Jerry D. Loflin.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81