Officer Jessie Lunderby Could Get Fired After Sheriff Learns of Playboy Shoot

Jessie Lunderby says she's been put on leave after posing for Playboy.

June 22, 2010, 2:49 PM

June 22, 2010 — -- A 21-year-old Arkansas correction officer might lose her job after her bosses discovered that she had ditched her department uniform for a nude photo shoot commissioned by Playboy.

Jessie Lunderby was put on administrative leave Sunday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Fayetteville, Ark., after officials learned that she had been featured on Playboy's website as the "June 7th Cyber Girl of the Week."

Some of the arresting images available online depict Lunderby wearing only sheer pink panties and a matching bra.

"What she did wrong is up for debate," said Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder. "We've got certain policies and a code of ethics that everyone signs off on."

"That includes bringing down the reputation of the law enforcement division in the eyes of the public," said Helder.

Lunderby criticized the sheriff's office for its handling of the situation, telling Fayetteville's KFSM-TV, "It's just kind of shady, the way they're doing the whole thing."

"It's like they waited for this to come out to make a big deal out of it and it's disgusting," said Lunderby, who did not respond to several messages left by

Helder said Lunderby violated department policy on proper conduct and outside employment, but that wasn't the only issue.

"The biggest thing is the distraction," he said. "It distracts us inside our department from performing our mission which is to arrest bad people and put people in jail."

"In my view, taking your clothes off and making a private issue a public one has done nothing to aid us in our mission," Helder said.

Correction Officer Expects Playboy Spread to Get Her Fired

Lunderby made things worse, said Helder, by including the name of the department she worked at in her biography, where she also described her dream job as one working as an uncover police officer.

Helder said that the decision as to what happens to Lunderby now rests in the hands of the county attorney.

Lunderby denies that anything she did sheds a bad light on the department.

"I don't think it's making law enforcement look bad. I'm not even a law enforcement officer. I'm a detention officer. I work with detainees in jail awaiting trial," said Lunderby.

But Lunderby's post inside the 710-bed Washington County Detention Center, where she has worked since 2007, could be made harder now that her stint with Playboy has been made public, said Helder.

"[News of the photos] spread like wildfire through the population," said Helder. "If she did come back there is a concern that it would cause a certain amount of problems whether it's physical violence or cat calls."

Asked whether she thinks the Playboy photos will cause her to be fired, Lunderby responded, "Probably."

But there is some precedent for the situation Lunderby now finds herself in.

In 1980, Cibella Borges posed for nude two times in the months before becoming inducted into the New York City Police Department. When the force found out a year later, Borges was suspended and eventually fired. She later won a lawsuit in the New York Appellate Court and was given her job back.

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