By Ben Meyer
Cloverland - Nobody wants a violent child sex predator living down the street from them.
But a man convicted of that has been living in the Vilas County town of Cloverland for almost a year.
That's within range of several school age children.
Getting this man removed, however, seems to be easier said than done.
37-year-old [name withheld] spent 17 years in prison for his crime. After being released last August, the state Department of Corrections started renting him a private home in Cloverland.
It's under an experimental program to help save the agency money from lock-up.
But nobody in Cloverland wants him there.
People are trying hard to create an ordinance that, at best, would force him to leave.
Those goals were the topic of a heated public meeting Thursday evening.
Some, like Deana Lindbom favored a preliminary draft of a new ordinance.
They argue that plan, among other things, spelled out how far a sex offender could be placed from school bus stops and other so-called "child safety zones".
"I think it was our job as a town to right the wrong that the state did. I was hoping that I would have everyone on board, which I did, I had the community. But unfortunately, not the board members," Lindbom said.
- Even if you pass it, if it's applied to him when he already lived there before the law, then it's an unconstitutional ex post facto law.
The town scrapped the original draft for one they say, if approved, will hold up better in court.
"It was too vague. There were loopholes. The first draft was just something we asked Jack O'Brien to put together so we had someplace to start," said Cloverland Town Chair Scott Maciosek.
The revised version will go before the full board in July.
It sounds like it will pass.
Even if it does, there's a good chance it won't even be successful in kicking [name withheld] out of Cloverland.
The state has ways of protecting the residence of criminals in their experimental program.
At the very least, the ordinance could prevent a similar sex offender from living in Cloverland in the future.