St. Louis Public Radio News
7:49 am
Wed February 3, 2010

Mo. lawmaker testifies to grand jury investigating "pay to play" allegations

Kansas City – A Republican state lawmaker from the Kansas City area testified yesterday in front of a grand jury investigating possible pay-to-play activity in Jefferson City.

In 2005, Bartle introduced a bill that would have tightened restrictions on sexually oriented businesses. The measure was gutted in an unfriendly committee.

Bartle says he told the grand jury he believes there is a connection between the bill's demise and a $35,000 donation from the porn industry to a political action committee connected to a top aide to the House Speaker at the time, Rod Jetton. Jetton was in charge of assigning bills to committee, and has denied any connection between the donation and where he assigned the bill.

Bartle said he isn't bothered that his own party is under federal investigation.

"I think it's fantastic that the federal government is investigating the way state government works, and it's healthy for the process," he said.

Bartle said he does not believe he is a target of the investigation.