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Supervisors set to repeal sex offender ordinance


Saturday, July 12th, 2014
Issue 28, Volume 18.
Kim Harris
Special to the Valley News


The Riverside County Board of Supervisors are expected to repeal Ordinance 902, the ordinance that sets rules on where sex offenders can live or visit. The board decided to appeal the ordinance on the advice of legal counsel following Appeals Court rulings on similar ordinances in nearby areas as unconstitutional.

Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone registered a "No" vote, making a strong political statement on the subject during the July 1 meeting.

According to Verne Lauritzen, chief of staff for Stone, many of the supervisors are against the move, which would leave Riverside County without an ordinance addressing sex offenders.

"It’s not something that is popular with these supervisors," Lauritzen said. "They think the ordinance is tough and good and they want it to stay but it is not in compliance with state law and we would be legally challenged and most likely lose. We are actually repealing it to be in compliance with state law."

Lauritzen said Stone said no to make a statement that he didn’t see the prudence in repealing it without having something else in place.

"We are left with no sex offender ordinance in place and he is uncomfortable with that. He thinks the state law is inefficient, he thinks that the state law is not tough enough," Lauritzen said. "The message would be a political message to state legislatures to strengthen state law because he doesn’t want to repeal what they are telling us they have to. He is just simply saying he doesn’t agree with state law, and obviously we have to comply, but I am not going to vote for it."

Lauritzen said at the suggestion of council the ordinance would be repealed but that he hopes another ordinance would be adopted to replace Ordinance 902 to reflect the state law regarding sex offenders.

"What happened is there has been a court case that has determined that certain aspects of many local ordinances that deal with where they can go in particular is not consistent with state law and as you know county ordinances cannot supersede or take precedence over state law," he said. "So at the suggestion of county council – it was suggested we repeal the ordinance Advertisement
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– otherwise we could face legal challenge."

Ordinance 902, adopted by the board in 2010, established sex offender residency and loitering prohibitions, but the new ordinance, 902.2 would do away with those restrictions. The ordinance prohibited sex offenders from residing in a residence or transient occupancy facility – such as a hotel room – already occupied by another sex offender unless the two are legally related by blood, marriage or adoption. Other restrictions include loitering in a child safety zone, which is defined as the area located within 300 feet of a child day care, swimming or wading pool, a commercial establishment that has an on-site, or adjacent children’s playground or any place where classes or group activities for children are held, such as a school.

The ordinance was later amended to include time, place and manner restrictions that prohibit sex offenders from answering the door to children who are trick-or-treating on Halloween.

In September of 2012 the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division 1, issued a decision ruling that some of the blanket residency restrictions of Jessica’s Law were unconstitutional.

Jessica’s law, named after a 9-year-old Florida girl who was murdered by a convicted sex offender who failed to notify local police of his location, was approved by California voters in 2006. Additional decisions issued from the same court, Division 3, invalidated ordinances in the city of Irvine and Orange County prohibiting sex offenders from entering public parks or recreational facilities without prior permission. The recommendation to repeal the ordinance comes due to the court’s rulings that local actions regarding the issues are preempted by state laws.

Under the California penal code section 290, or Jessica’s law, sex offenders who have been convicted of a felony sex offense are required to be monitored by GPS devices. The law also prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school and it makes other provisions that increase legal penalties for habitual sex offenders and child molesters. Riverside residents would still be protected under the state’s law.

The repeal is expected to happen during the Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for July 15 beginning at 9 a.m. It will be effective 30 days from adoption.


 

8 comments

Comment Profile ImageMurray
Comment #1 | Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 3:43 am
"Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone registered a "No" vote, making a strong political statement on the subject during the July 1 meeting."

Yet his own chief of staff concedes that a) the ordinance is not in compliance with State law and that b) a legal challenge would most likely be lost (ultimately at tax payer expense) as a local ordinance cannot supersede State law.

Let's go over that again.... concedes that the ordinance is not in line with State law and this would with great certainty be decided in disfavor of the County.

So what is the strong political statement being made here? That Supervisor Jeff Stone is above the law? That Riverside County is above the law? That Supervisor Jeff Stone's personal feelings trump State law? Regardless of his feelings, this "No" vote is public record and can be viewed as a vote to break existing State law.

"He is simply not agreeing with State law." I am sorry, but where I come from someone who does not agree with State law and knowingly acts contrary to State law has broken said law and needs to be charged with and prosecuted for a criminal offense.

As a non-resident of Riverside County I will not even comment on the lack of financial responsibility to his constituent as an elected official. It would not come out of his pocket. Wake up, Riverside County!
Comment Profile ImageanonQ
Comment #2 | Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Amazing, simply amazing. These people act as though they actually have a choice, at least with the presence restrictions. These people actually believe that presence and residency restrictions actually address something! If the state supreme court ruled some of these ordinances are unconstitutional even the most marginal of thinkers would realize that would make them illegal.

I've often pondered the question of why so many people know so little about the true nature of these laws and the registry in general, and why people are so willing to believe anything they are told to be unarguable fact. It's pretty clear the supervisors wish to appear “tough,” yet know if they don't repeal these ordinances they “would be legally challenged and most likely lose.” Doesn't that mean they are in the wrong? Or does it mean the state is picking on them for no reason what so ever?

Perhaps these supervisors could still appear “tough” and actually do some good. All they would need to do is stop obsessing on a group who has throughout the years been proven to be the least likely to be any kind of a problem and focus their laws, rhetoric and posturing on those that have historically proven to be a problem.

All this talk of replacement ordinances to “reflect state law”? The only way these people can do that is to repeal and forget about it. Then find a real problem to pursue.

Comment Profile ImageWonderin
Comment #3 | Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 5:39 pm
Sex offenders are definitely a problem we must deal with. Not the ones who have been caught and dealt with but the ones actively pursuing victims.
Comment Profile ImageValigator
Comment #4 | Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:23 am
Local legislators need to quit folding as if they are a deck of cards in the wind . Contrary to what some pro-offender groups posing as regular citizens have written on this forum, sex offenders are like sludge, they follow the path of least resistance and even have various websites to steer them in areas where the criteria for their oversight is more relaxed. The next predictable conclusion is to always "bite the hand that feeds them"..California has the highest rate of recidivism in the country. There are many factors contributing to that. The public should not be propagandized into believing these people "urinated on tree and or had consentual teenage sex" as the bulk of offenders. The fastest growing population of convicted sex offenders in the country are "criminal illegal aliens" who have the most violent and heinous crimes against our YOUNGEST of citizens. Janice Bellucci is the catalyst for these lawsuits and her claim to fame is intimidating communities into demanding our neighborhoods "adopt a sex offender for Christmas" extortion. Make no mistake, as budget restraints get tighter, the correctional systems will play fast and loose releasing the worst of the worst with the public paying the price.
Comment Continued : The comment above was written from the same location.
Post Continued
Comment Profile ImageValigator
Comment #5 | Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:39 am
Think about this while your at it, "The repeal is expected to happen during the Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for July 15 beginning at 9 a.m. "

typical, a Tuesday and a Time when the least amount of people who PAY the most amount of Taxes, who have the most amount at stake, will find they have the smallest voice in the process..
Comment Profile ImageanonQ
Comment #6 | Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 10:54 am
Murray & Wonderin

I strongly suggest you both check out the 2014 tiering report by the California Sex Offender Management Board.
Comment Profile ImageLentils
Comment #7 | Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm
Oh wow, Valigator crawled out of the woodwork to talk about california? "Excellent Smithers! Release the hounds!" Valigator, AKA Valerie Parkhurst. 2x felon (a repeat offender herself) for violence. Simply amazing! I guess it IS true what the say, "Those who scream the loudest are the ones that have the most to hide in their closet".....or something like that. This is the same person who accused her own local police department of poisoning her dogs! She even posted about it on their forums!! How empty must one truly be to act out as you do? I wonder. (In before calling me a molester, pedophile, rapist, sympathizer, affiliate, etc). Notice how she NEVER acknowledges her own criminal past? LOLOL
Comment Profile ImagePC
Comment #8 | Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 at 10:02 am
Ordinance 902 conflicts with California penal code Jessica's Law in that it lowers sex offender residency from 2,000 feet to a mere 300 feet. One football field versus almost nine football fields. Riverside county supervisors Jeff Stone and Marion Ashley, along with sheriff Stanly Sniff, are heroes to the pedophile community for criminally and purposely endangering every child in the county.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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