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Ban repeal sparks applause, frustration

On Dec. 18, Lake Forest repealed a year-old ordinance banning registered sex offenders from its public parks.

The city was one of more than a dozen in Orange County to add such a ban to their books since April 2011. Last month, in the face of a lawsuit challenging the ban’s constitutionality, Lake Forest became the first of those cities to reverse course. Proponents say the ban is needed to protect children from predators – critics argue the ban violates the civil rights of registered sex offenders.

Here is a range of opinions on the city’s latest move. Full Article

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  1. Tired of hiding

    Fantastic!

    Frustrated…GOOD! Let them be frustrated. I was frustrated too the last time I applied to rent an apartment and told that I was rejected because of my status as a sex offender even though that was 15 years ago!

    So let them be frustrated…and let them also know that they can no longer tread on and ignore our constitutional rights as tax paying (when we can find someone to hire us) AMERICANS!

    Thank you Janice for giving a voice to people who need one but have been abused, ignored, and silenced for so long!

  2. Cons T. Tution

    So many things so wrong with Councilmember Adam Nick’s dramatic speech…. (omg – would it ever end???)

    The permissive clause allows a sex offender with written permission from the sheriff to enter parks.

    He suggested modifying the LF ordinance to include the waiver option. Aside from the fact that the Sheriff stated publicly that she did not foresee granting any waivers and only ONE waiver has been granted (to a personal friend of OC Supervisor Bates, no less), the ordinance that was challenged and found to preempt the California Constitution was the County one, the one that DOES include the waiver. What is the point jumping through hoops to end up with an ordinance already ruled unconstitutional?

    The previous council was also told by the District Attorney’s Office that the city will be sued.

    They most certainly were not. In Laguna Hills in September 2011, right across the freeway, the OCDA sold this ordinance as ironclad and constitutionally sound, researched by the top attorney the OCDA has on staff – an individual “who has argued in front of the Supreme Court”. At the same Laguna Hills City Council meeting (video is online) the OCDA Chief of Staff acknowledged that the total ban was taken out of the state law / Chelsea’s Law. When asked for the reason for that the response was “Not sure – partisan politics” or something to that effect. This, after a summer of party bickering that almost shut down the government, was accepted as a plausible explanation.

    Now, does it even make sense to repeal the ordinance without putting up a fight and because the sex offenders have made good on their threat? … If you’re going to rescind this ordinance just because someone sued, then the previous council should not have voted this ordinance in in the first place.

    That is neither here nor there. But it does make sense to repeal an ordinance that was ruled unconstitutional by a judge even in a milder form.

    The ACLU is suing because they feel that California sex offenders shouldn’t have to turn over their Facebook, their Twitter and email account to police. The attorney general is using taxpayers’ money to fight this. Should California rescind this law because ACLU sued?

    No, California had to suspend this law because a JUDGE ruled its constitutionality questionable and said so. Whether it will be rescinded remains to be seen, but the chances are pretty good after Friday.

    Mr. Nick – please save us the rhetoric and spend some time reading the Constitutions you are sworn to uphold. Instead of spending the money of the residents of Lake Forest on lawsuits that are going to be lost.

    • http404

      Good point there… there was judical action in the COUNTY’S ordinance, not in the matter Lake Forest was being sued for, so by amending it to have a permissive clause, they would be mimicking what the county Appellate Panel voided in their ruling.

      The D.A. thought he was being clever and circumventing the Constitution with the permissive clause. Somehow I don’t think judges are going to be very impressed with that.

      • Janice Bellucci

        Just to clarify, the City of Lake Forest was sued along with three other cities in Orange County in the same lawsuit. In addition, the City of Lake Forest was threatened with a second lawsuit that would have been filed IF the City did not agree to repeal its ordinance. Because Lake Forest repealed its ordinance, the plaintiff who filed the lawsuit has agreed to drop that city from his lawsuit.

    • Jeff

      Maybe if Nick feels so adamant that he is right he should pay for the defense with his own money. As far as the Attorney General of Ca spending tax payers money to fight prop 35 that too leaves a lot to be said about the state. Why aren’t they making Kelley pay for defending his proposition? He spent millions thinking that if he passed this law he would obviously profit from it. Now he should pay to defend it.
      How bout I spend a ton of money getting signatures for a ballot measure that says all Illegal Immigrants must be fitted with a GPS chip in order to stop them from coming back. The voters would obviously vote yes on this. But I bet the United Nations would be all over this law as well as the ACLU. I sit back and let the AG of Ca waste all their money trying to defend the law cause I will make Billions monitoring the GPS. If it does make it through. That is basically what Kelley did. He should pay the AG’s legal bill for defending prop 35.
      California is truly a totally corrupt Cess pool of a state

      • Eric Knight

        Personally, I”m glad the state is putting up the fight for a blatantly losing cause. With a virtual air-tight strategy presented by the EFF and the ACLU, I frankly would love to see this case get appealed to the 9th Circuit, where the same arguments can not be rationally disputed by any constitutional justice.

        One reason I’m jazzed about CA RSOL is the decision to only fight battles in FEDERAL court, not the ticky-tack local and state courts that, if a decision is lost, would only allow the legislature to “wordsmith” a law to essentially create the same level of draconian enforcement that the lawsuit originally negated.

        Defending RSO ordinances should be “mission impossible” for lawyers who ostensibly follow the Constitution in this case, as long as arguments are competently performed. Lake Forest proves that the threat of lawsuits, coupled with the presentation of alternatives that actually make the community safer without the sex offender ordinances can have an impact. The ONLY losers are the politicians beating their chests looking for votes.

  3. MM

    @cons … We were there … We thought he would never end …. But in the end …all was good, not sure until the very end … But finally the right decision!

  4. Joe

    Of course Erin Runnion is not going to voice her opposition to the repeal… same night this ordinance was repealed they made a motion to retain her and her organization for consulting services.

  5. G4Change

    It’s very interesting how Erin Runion is on a witch hunt against registrants, yet her daughter’s murderer was not on any list. Also, her daughter was not abducted from a park. Had Erin Runion been watching her daughter, then she may still be here. I think she knows this, yet I feel that she refuses to accept it. So, what does she do? She advocates for the government to watch our kids.
    BOTTOM LINE: if parents would be PARENTS and accompany their children to the park or supervise them when they play outside, then these Nanny State laws would be moot. It’s not the government’s job to raise our kids. It’s OUR job!!!

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