Jessie Lunderby

  • Jessie Lunderby

Good editorial in Ozarks Unbound on the firing of the Washington County jail deputy who posed nude for Playboy. It highlights the inconsistency of the sheriff’s disciplinary actions. Perhaps the deputy’s free-lance work was a distraction sufficient for firing, the editorial says.

However, what about Jarrod Hankins? Remember him?

The young deputy who accidently left Adriana Torres-Flores in a detention cell for four days without food and water, causing Washington County some national embarrassment in March 2008?

He returned to duty 30 days later, a mere wrist slap for an action that would have cost the county large sums in legal expenses if Torres-Flores could show gross neglect in the county’s actions. Not to mention the fact that she almost died.

Actually, there was a silver lining for Torres-Flores who did win legal residency to stay in this country. Due in no small part to media attention she garnered as a result of the four-day ordeal, her attorney said.

Helder shows inconsistency by granting such lenience to Hankins, but firing Lunderby without the option to transfer away from the jail.

And what of the pending sexual harassment lawsuit now facing the sheriff’s office and scheduled for a hearing in federal court on Jan. 31.

Sergeant Lori Schmidt and Corporal Stephanie Guenther who worked at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office paint a disturbing tale of what they say was considered acceptable behavior among staff at the county jail.

They filed a civil suit late last year alleging deputies nearly fought because of wife-swapping parties, jail staff watched female inmates undress and a captain talked openly about his female employees’ breasts.