Former Granby Lawmen Charged

By Debbie Robinson
Globe Staff Writer

NEOSHO, Mo. — A former Granby police chief and a former patrolman are being held in out-of-state jails on Newton County warrants in unrelated cases.

Sheriff Ron Doerge said Josh Beck, 23, was being held in the Kitsap County (Wash.) Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond on a charge of statutory sodomy. Beck resigned in March from the Granby Police Department for which he had worked since 1997.

Chief Deputy Chris Jennings said lawmen received a tip that prompted an investigation that led to the accusation that Beck had sex with a girl younger than 17 in November.

Under state law, consensual sex is deemed a crime if the man is older than 21 and the girl is younger than 17. The charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

Jennings said the incident took place in a car outside of Granby.

Doerge said the investigation is continuing in an effort to determine whether the girl had been supplied alcohol, and whether any other people were involved.

He said Beck allegedly had been seen frequently with the girl.

“It was an improper relationship that, obviously, led to these allegations,” he said. “This incident took place while he was an officer with the Granby Police Department.”

George Chandler, 40, was arrested last week in Garden City, Kan., where he had applied for a job with the Police Department, Doerge said.

The warrant was discovered during a background check conducted by Kansas authorities.

Chandler was indicted by a Newton County grand jury in February on a charge of illegal wiretapping, but was not located until he applied for a job.

“Basically, we didn’t know where he was,” Jennings said. “The last we heard he was in Springfield.”

Chandler was charged in September 1997 with plotting to secretly record a closed-door meeting of the city’s police review board on Sept. 4, 1997.

The case was transferred on a change of venue to Greene County and later dropped by Greg Bridges, former prosecuting attorney.

Trevor Keller, 26, Joplin, also was charged in connection with the alleged bugging scheme, but that charge also was dismissed. Keller has not been charged in connection with the grand jury investigation.

Authorities have said county lawmen, armed with a search warrant, seized a microphone, a recording device and an audio tape from the Granby police station. The recording devices allegedly were used to secretly record the meeting.

Lawmen alleged Chandler planted the microphone in an empty box in a room where the board met.

Bridges has said he obtained a letter that Chandler wrote to the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Aug. 27 — a week before the alleged wiretap — requesting the use of surveillance equipment for two weeks.

The police review board was scheduled to discuss an alleged altercation at a Granby home involving another Granby police officer. Chandler was not invited to the meeting.

The review board, composed of seven Granby residents, conducts hearings on disciplinary matters involving police officers.

The charge of illegal wiretapping carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Chandler and Beck are fighting extradition to Newton County, Doerge said.

Page 1A, The Joplin Globe, Friday, June 25, 1999