Rod Jetton, the former Missouri pol charged with assault after a November sexual encounter, is now reportedly under scrutiny in an FBI probe into the killing of a bill to regulate strip clubs.
Details of the pay-to-play probe — including a grand jury interview with the legislation’s sponsor today — have been bubbling up for a while. The Kansas City Star first reported late last month that Jetton is under scrutiny.
The 2005 legislation sounds like the kind of bill Jetton, a longtime family values Republican (he fought to ban “deviate sexual intercourse”) who was at the time the speaker of the Missouri House, could get fully behind.
As the AP explains, the bill would have seriously hampered strip club operations:
The bill at issue would have enacted admission fees and special taxes on adult businesses, required them to close by 10 p.m. and banned full nudity in strip clubs. Semi-nude dancers would have had to perform on a stage 10 feet from patrons, who would have been prohibited from tipping.
The bill passed the Senate.
But when it landed on Jetton’s desk in the House, he referred it to an unfriendly committee, essentially killing it.
The Star reported that a few days before Jetton referred the bill to committee, a group of strip club owners gave $35,000 to Committee for Honest Campaigns, a group with ties to a top Jetton aide.
Jetton has denied wrongdoing in the case, saying the donation had nothing to do with his decision in the bill.
But the FBI is clearly interested in his role.
“No question there’s interest in Rod Jetton,” former lawmaker Bob Johnson, who was interviewed by three agents, told the Star. “That’s all they wanted to talk about.”