And people wonder why this country is going broke? It's because politicians continually pass insane and unconstitutional laws which spend years in courts wasting tax payer money, that's why! And hopefully this idiot DA's 15 minutes of fame is now over?
By SARAH de CRESCENZO
A lawsuit challenging the ordinance's constitutionality will cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend, the city attorney estimates.
LAKE FOREST – An ordinance banning registered sex offenders from city parks has not bolstered public safety and will likely cost the city "hundreds of thousands of dollars" as a result of a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality, according to a report from City Manager Bob Dunek.
Nearly a year after the city passed the ban, modeled after a law passed in April 2011 by the county Board of Supervisors, officials Tuesday night will consider its repeal.
The Lake Forest ordinance has not been used by local law enforcement since its passage and may not even be legally enforceable, Dunek said in a report to the City Council. The city has no evidence the ordinance has had a "measurable effect on public safety" or an "appreciable, detectable deterrence effect," Dunek said.
Registered sex offenders in Lake Forest comprise 0.0005 percent of the population, according to government data.
"Given the statistics ... and actual experience both before and after city ordinance adoption, the fear that registered sex offenders in public parks pose a compelling public safety concern appears to reflect only a perception at this point," Dunek said.
Lake Forest is one of 15 Orange County cities that have passed some form of the ban, often at the urging of the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Irvine passed the weakest such ordinance, limiting the ban to registered sex offenders who have victimized minors.
Lake Forest passed a stricter version than the county ordinance it used as a model, barring case-by-case exceptions as allowed under the county ban.
An anonymous man in September sued Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Costa Mesa, alleging the park bans violate his constitutional rights.
The amount of money the city expects to spend defending the suit will be "substantial," according to City Attorney Scott Smith, "potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars."
On Nov. 15, the 4th District Court of Appeal reversed the conviction of [name withheld], a registered sex offender from Santa Ana, who was arrested in May 2011 for entering Fountain Valley's Mile Square Park in violation of that city's ban. The court ruled state law on restrictions on sex offenders takes precedence over county law.
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas called the ruling a one-off. "The appellate division's decision applies in the [name withheld] case but does not apply to other pending or future prosecutions of the county sex offender ordinance," he said.
Susan Schroeder, the district attorney's chief of staff who spoke in December 2011 in front of the Lake Forest council, urging members to pass an ordinance mirroring the county's, called Lake Forest's move "premature." She said she's not aware of any other cities considering a repeal.
Schroeder said she plans to attend Tuesday's meeting. "We can certainly understand why they (Lake Forest officials) might be considering (repealing) it," she said. However, "the ordinance, when they approved it, was the right thing to do, and it still is."
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