“As a party and a caucus we work tirelessly to protect the health and wellbeing of our young people, and we have a zero-tolerance policy for anyone who would endanger or abuse a child,” Speaker Rob Vescovo, Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann, and Rep. Dean Plocher, next year’s majority floor leader, said. “We take these accusations very seriously and strongly believe they must be thoroughly investigated to ensure justice is served for both the alleged victims and the accused. Rep. Roeber is currently not part of the House Republican Caucus. We will meet with our caucus on Dec. 14 to discuss this issue and the options we have as a legislative body to address it.”
Minority Floor Leader Rep. Crystal Quade said House Democrats were glad the incoming majority leadership was taking the allegations seriously but criticized the lack of attention to the issue before the election.
“These allegations are not new, and we regret that his children have had to relive their abuse for the last several months,” Quade said. “This could have been avoided if Republican leadership had strongly denounced Roeber before the election instead of waiting until after.”
Roeber’s children, who are now adults, accused him of both sexual and physical assault in a Kansas City Star editorial in September. They sent a letter to Vescovo this week, asking action be taken to disqualify Roeber from taking the House seat.
“The next step falls to you. It is our understanding that ultimately the members of the Missouri House of Representatives determine the qualifications of the members. Someone who has done the things our father has done is not worthy of serving in our government,” the letter read. “As the highest officeholder in the Missouri House, we are begging you to not allow this to happen.”
Roeber has denied all allegations, saying he was “completely exonerated” years prior.
“Decades ago, I suffered through a bitter divorce. In 2003, the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board (CANRB) concluded that all accusations were without merit and I was completely exonerated,” Roeber previously said in a statement. “Now, these same allegations are being brought up, just one month prior to my election. The desperation of Democrats and the Main Stream Media to discredit my campaign is deplorable and indefensible.”
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Senate Minority Floor Leader John Rizzo and GOP Reps. Shamed Dogan and Shelia Solon, head of the Children and Families Committee, called for Roeber to be removed from the ballot last month.