PLATTE CITY, Mo. — Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd has formally rejected a disciplinary panel’s recommendation that he be reprimanded for publicly naming and criticizing some residents of a northwest Missouri town who defended a convicted child sex offender.

Zahnd said in a news release Monday that his decision to reject the recommendation means the Missouri Supreme Court will decide the case. The Missouri Press Association and the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys issued a joint release Monday supporting Zahnd.

The Missouri’s Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, which oversees attorney conduct, filed a complaint over what it says was Zahnd’s effort to pressure residents of Dearborn to withdraw supportive letters for Darren Paden, who was awaiting sentencing after he admitted that he abused a girl for more than a decade.

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