Saturday, February 15, 2014

CA - Council to revisit sex-offender park ban

Park Bench
Original Article


By Bradley Zint

The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to consider instituting a reward for help in identifying vandals and repealing a law that aims to rein in the movements of sex offenders.

The Police Department has recommended that the council consider revoking a 2012 ordinance that bans registered sex offenders from entering city parks and sports facilities without law enforcement permission.

Costa Mesa's ordinance was similar to ones passed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Irvine City Council.

Two state appellate court decisions, however, have ruled against the legality of the Irvine and county ordinances.

According to city staff, the Orange County district attorney's office, which supports the ban, will probably appeal the decisions to the state Supreme Court.

Staff also noted that Costa Mesa is also facing its own lawsuit against the sex offender ordinance. The case, John Doe vs. City of Costa Mesa, is pending in federal court.

The lawsuit, filed in 2012, originally targeted Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Costa Mesa, Police Chief Tom Gazsi, and the cities of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Lake Forest and their police chiefs.

Lake Forest, its police chief and Hutchens have since been dropped from the lawsuit, according to federal court documents.

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