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Jeff White, ex-Reading managing director, nabbed in online predator sting

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jun 25 2012 05:46:16 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 25 2012 05:13:18 PM CDT

A former Reading city official has been arrested after police say he was a part of an operation targeting online sexual predators.

LOWER HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. -

A former Reading official is under arrest again. The city's former managing director, Jeff White, is accused of trying to lure a 13-year-old girl online, and police said it's not the first time he's targeted a teenager.

White was arrested in 2005 as part of a state-led child sex sting operation and registered as a sex offender for trying to lure who he thought was a 15-year-old girl online. This time, he was arrested by Lower Heidelberg Township police.

"It's unfortunate that, despite the fact that he's a registered sex offender, he's chosen to re-offend," said District Attorney John Adams

Between May and June, police said a detective posing as a 13-year-old girl in an Internet chat was propositioned by White, who was using an alias.

Detectives traced the Internet account and IP address to White's wife. When White was questioned, police said he admitted to chatting and grooming the girl online for sex.

"Clearly, someone who is 64-years-old, as Mr. White is, should not be having contact with a 13-year-old child," said Adams. "That's common sense."

White was Reading's managing director under Mayor Joe Eppihimer. City Councilman Jeff Waltman said White's behavior at that time was always professional.

"My first reaction is that isn't Jeff," said Waltman. "That's not the guy I knew. Certainly, the behavior is wrong, but I also realize whatever has driven him to this, he's kind of lost control of."

White's preliminary hearing is July 10. In the meantime, he is being held on $50,000 bail.