LAKE FOREST (CBSLA.com) — The Lake Forest City Council voted Tuesday night to repeal an ordinance banning registered sex offenders from city parks after a scathing report from one city official.
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports the vote came nearly one year after officials passed the ban.
City Manager Bob Dunek said he has seen no evidence that the measure has resulted in deterring sex offenders from patronizing city parks and could cost the city “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to defend in court.
An anonymous registered sex offender filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in October claiming that local laws in Lake Forest, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa violated his Constitutional rights.
The lawsuit claims that ordinances in those cities have denied his right to assembly, free speech and other violations of civil liberties.
But Orange County District Attorney Chief of Staff Susan Schroeder said the vote would send the wrong signal.
“We knew at the time that…we were going to be engaged in litigation, and that in order to fight the bad guys and the sex offenders, it’s going to be a legal process,” said Schroeder.
There are an estimated 40 registered sex offenders in the city of Lake Forest out of a total population of 78,439.