CONCERNS OVER COURT RULING
The North Shore Sun/Peggy Spellman Hoey
Elected officials from various levels of government held a press conference on Sunday,spearheaded by former US Attorney and Brookhaven Town Supervisor candidate Mark Lesko, to denouncea recent court ruling that preempts restrictions on where convicted sex offenders can reside. Lesko was joined by New York State Senator Brian X. Foley, New York State Assemblyman Marc Alessi,and Suffolk county Legislators Kate Browning and Brian Beedenbender to voice opposition to New YorkState Supreme Court Justice William Kelly's decision overturning a Rockland County law placingrestrictions on where sex offenders can live, ruling that local protections were preempted by thestate. Kelly ruled January 23 that a 2007 Rockland County law prohibiting sex offenders fromliving, working or loitering within 100 feet of schools or other places where children gather, suchas playgrounds and ball fields, is superceded by state laws, which give local probation officersthe right to decide where sex offenders can live. The decision also eliminates misdemeanorcharges against sex offenders who violate the law. Rockland officials have 30 days to appealthe judge's findings in the case. The decision also opens the doors to the overturning ofcurrent laws at the county and town level that restrict sex offenders from being in areas known tobe frequented by children.
(Shirley, New York)