Three years after he was tied to a sexual assault, Rod Jetton is back in Jefferson City. The Republican who served as Speaker of the House from 2005 to 2009 launched The Missouri Times last month.
Jetton boasts that the weekly paper will be a "different kind of media outlet" dedicated to covering state government and the culture of Jefferson City.
"We intend to do the work necessary to become Missouri's newspaper of politics and culture," writes Jetton in his online bio that steers clear of the charges that spurred his downfall.
Jetton was term-limited out of office in 2009 and was serving as a political consultant in Jefferson City that fall when he was charged with felony assault for beating a woman after she allegedly failed to say the safe words "green balloons" during a night of BDSM intercourse. Jetton eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges from the incident. Not surprisingly, Jetton went through a divorce shortly after.
Now, though, he says he's turned his life around. He's remarried and lives in Branson. He works in marketing and recently joined the Gideons, the Christian group that hands out Bibles. His Twitter profile says it all:
In an interview with the Associated Press this week, Jetton didn't shy away from the tawdry event that led to his fall.
"I let politics and power influence me, and change me from who I really was," said Jetton. "Unfortunately, it took some trouble, some problems, to get me to realize that."
Jetton's business partner in The Missouri Times is Scott Faughn, a former mayor of Poplar Bluff who has had legal problems of his own. He was convicted of felony check forgery in 2007 before going on to found a similar paper called SEMO Times.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.