July 20, 2011
On the heels of a police investigation into a July 11 domestic incident at their home, State Sen. Kris Jordan and Delaware County Recorder Melissa Jordan have issued a statement asking for “privacy” as they work through their personal issues.
“Like many couples, we have stressful lives,” reads the statement, which the Jordans emailed to the Gazette. “We had an emotional argument and are embarrassed that some very personal issues have become public. We are all human. We make mistakes. Please allow us the space, time and privacy to work through this together. We ask for your prayers.”
The Jordans, both Republicans, are out of town this week on vacation.
Beyond a recording of a 911 call that summoned sheriff’s deputies, details of the July 11 incident remain unclear, as do any political ramifications, if any, that would result for the couple. The incident went public late Tuesday after it was reported by state and local media.
Delaware County Sheriff Walter L. Davis III, whose office is investigating the incident, did not respond to a request for an interview, nor did Delaware County Republican Party Chair Bob Mann.
Melissa Jordan around 10:30 p.m. on July 11 told a 911 dispatcher that her husband had “had a few drinks” and was “pushing (her) around, throwing stuff.” She said there were guns in the house and asked for police to come to their Liberty Township home, but later tried to call them off.
There were no arrests made and no charges were filed. Deputies are reviewing potential charges of domestic violence and disorderly conduct, according to a copy of a written police report. Deputies determined alcohol was a factor in the “domestic dispute.” They took written and recorded statements at the scene, but those will not be released while the investigation is ongoing.
It is not unusual for a domestic investigation to result in no charges and no arrest, said Powell police chief Gary Vest.
While he declined to comment specifically on a case that doesn’t involve his department, he said the PPD policy for domestic incidents is to separate anyone who is arguing, locate and possibly remove any weapons and identify all parties in the house.
“The crux is: What did the officers observe in any case? Were there conflicting statements? Were there any visible signs of injury? You have to kind of weigh in the totality of the information at the time officers make these decisions,” Vest said.
Police only make an arrest if they believe someone to be in immediate danger to themselves or others, Vest said.
“Depriving somebody of their liberty should be a last resort. Every domestic call does not result in an arrest,” Vest said.
Kris Jordan, a 34-year-old Republican, has seen his statewide political profile expand since he was elected in November 2010 to serve in the Ohio Senate. He represents the 19th district, which includes Delaware, Morrow, Knox, and Richland counties, and part of Ashland County. Jordan also served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2008 to 2010. His political career began in 2002, when he was elected to the Delaware County commission.
Melissa Jordan, 31, was appointed Delaware County Recorder last January to finish an unexpired term.
The Jordans’ statement does not contemplate any political fallout the incident may cause. Both are thought by local Republican Party members to hold higher political aspirations.
One source said Jordan’s political brand, which is built in large part around a family values platform, could be harmed by the incident.
The source, a Democratic Party insider, asked not to be named because he did not want his analysis to be viewed as that of his party’s.
“It’s a very serious situation for a leader in the legislature to find themselves in,” the source said. “He’s very active within the (Republican) caucus in raising funds. This will limit his effectiveness within the caucus.”
And then there are considerations beyond politics. Those who know the Jordans personally that spoke with the Gazette Wednesday expressed concern for the health of the couple’s relationship and their emotional well-being.
Delaware County Treasurer Jon Peterson, a former state representative, mentored Kris Jordan when he was a young legislative aide in Peterson’s state office. Peterson, who attended the Jordans’ wedding, said he had not talked to either of them since the incident, but is “deeply saddened” for his friends. He said he had not seen or heard any prior signs that would suggest their relationship is troubled.
“It’s sometimes easy to lose sight that these are two human beings who are going through a difficult time in their relationship,” Peterson said. “I’ve been in this game long enough that I know that life in a fishbowl is an occupational hazard.”