Sunday, October 12, 2014

Question: How Exactly Was Sierra Madre's Sex Offender Ordinance Put On Legal Hold?

Sex Offender Defender Janice Belluci
Mod: There is a fairly extensive article in today's Pasadena Star News regarding an attorney by the name of Janice Belluci. She is the leading lawyerly light of an organization called California Reform Sex Offender Laws, a group of activists concerned with the legal rights of convicted child molesters. They see themselves as being a kind of civil rights organization. You know, like the ones that were led by Martin Luther King or Cesar Chavez. Or so they believe. That said, how you might feel about so-called sex offender rights is apparently besides the point as Ms. Belluci has won quite a few cases in Court here in California, something that restricts the ability of little cities such as ours to limit where registered sex offenders are allowed to live and where they may go.

Libraries, playgrounds and schools are usually sensitive issues in these kinds if cases, as you can well imagine.

Here is a portion of that Pasadena Star News article, which is called "Pair seeks repeal of sex-offender laws in California." It is an eye-opening and at times shocking report about the legal battles currently being fought in California over the issue of restricting the ability of convicted sex offenders to get their funky bad selves out and about town. You can link to the entire article by clicking here.

A crusading civil rights attorney and a registered sex offender have partnered in a legal battle that has prompted dozens of California cities to repeal or revise what the pair believe are unconstitutional ordinances restricting the activities of sex offenders.

Since March, Santa Maria attorney Janice Bellucci and Frank Lindsay, a 62-year-old water-treatment specialist from Grover Beach and registered sex offender for 35 years, have filed 18 lawsuits in federal court challenging ordinances in cities from Stockton down to National City.

To date, Bellucci has settled 15 of the lawsuits, while 38 other cities have avoided litigation by agreeing to repeal their ordinances. Six other cities have voluntarily suspended enforcement of their ordinances, while ordinances in another 18 cities are still under review.

“The way I look at it is that I’m protecting the Constitution of the United States as well as the state of California,” said Bellucci, president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws, a nonprofit she launched three years ago as an affiliate to the national Reform Sex Offender Laws organization.

While Bellucci believes she’s fighting for the rights of oppressed sex offenders, others say she’s endangering the state’s youth.

“As an elected official and as a mother, I’m concerned about the health and safety of our young people who don’t have a voice,” said Carson Councilwoman Lulu Davis-Holmes. Carson is one city sued by Bellucci that plans to fight the lawsuit.

“Our kids did not make the choice to be molested,” Davis-Holmes said. “I personally think we need to do more to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”

"Crusading civil rights attorney" Janice Belluci and her team of legal beagles run a website that is called, rather obviously, California Reform Sex Offender Laws. And if you go there you will eventually stumble across an article identifying Sierra Madre as one of those cities that somewhat cravenly knuckled under to the legal machinations of Ms. Belluci. Here is a screen shot of that article (link).


Now I follow the affairs of the City of Sierra Madre fairly closely, as do most readers of The Tattler. We're really into this stuff, believe it or not. And correct me if I am wrong, but I do not recall this action of the City Council ever being talked about by any of our town officials. Nor did it come up at that December 10, 2013 City Council meeting, or at least as far as I can remember. And I have a fairly decent memory.

Here is the City Council Agenda for the meeting in question. You may view this in its native habitat by clicking here.

OPEN SESSION
CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND INVOCATION/INSPIRATION
REPORT OUT FROM CLOSED SESSION
APPROVAL OF AGENDA APPROVAL OF MINUTES
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL REPORTS
PUBLIC COMMENT
PRESENTATION
PRESENTATION ACTION ITEMS
1. CONSENT
a) ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION No. 13-83 OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SIERRA MADRE APPROVING CERTAIN DEMANDS
b) SECOND READING – ORDINANCE No. 1348 AMENDING CHAPTER 17.22 OF THE SIERRA MADRE MUNICIPAL CODE REGARDING SECOND UNITS
c) RENEWED PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR VIDEO PRODUCTION AND CABLE TELEVISION ACCESS SERVICES
d) NOTICE OF COMPLETION, FISCAL YEAR 2012-2013 STREET IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
Mayor Walsh, Mayor Pro Tem Harabedian, Council Members Capoccia, Koerber, and Moran
Council Member Chris Koerber
City Attorney report from the closed session.
Majority vote of the Council to proceed with City business.
Approval of Minutes from the Regular City Council meeting of November 26, 2013.
Reports of individual Council Member activities relating to City business occurring since the last City Council meeting.
Regarding items not on the Agenda.
Introduction of Sierra Madre Rose Float Princesses
Water Conservation Update

Recommendation that the City Council approve Resolution No. 13-83 for approval of payment of City Warrants in aggregate amount of $75,872.22; Sierra Madre Library warrants in the aggregate amount of $9,213.71 and Payroll Transfer in the aggregate amount of $316,467.51 for the fiscal year ending June 2014.

Recommendation that the City Council waive further reading and adopt Ordinance No. 1348.

Recommendation that the City Council approve the Renewed Professional Services Agreement for Video Production and Cable Television Access Services with Community Media of the Foothills.
Recommendation that the City Council accept the completed project, direct staff to file a Notice of Completion with the Count Clerk/Recorder, and direct staff to carry over unused Measure R funds in the amount of $144,606 for use in the 2014-2015 fiscal year street improvement project.

2. DISCUSSION –
NO. 13-82 REQUESTING THE
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES TO RENDER SPECIFIED SERVICES TO THE CITY OF SIERRA MADRE RELATING TO THE CONDUCT OF A GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
NO. 13-85 CALLING AND GIVING NOTICE OF THE HOLDING OF A GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014, FOR THE ELECTION OF CERTAIN OFFICERS AS REQUIRED BY THE PROVISION OF THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA RELATING TO GENERAL LAW CITIES AND FOR THE SUBMISSION TO THE VOTERS AN ORDINANCE EXTENDING AND MODIFYING THE CITY’S UTILITY USERS TAX (UUT) AND ORDINANCE NO. 1349 AMENDING THE CITY’S UTILITY USERS TAX
NO. 13-86 AUTHORIZING CERTAIN COUNCIL MEMBERS TO SUBMIT ARGUMENTS REGARDING A MEASURE TO AMEND THE EXISTING UTILITY USERS’ TAX ORDINANCE TO EXTEND THE EXISTING RATE STRUCTURE, SUBJECT TO NEW SUNSET DATES, WHICH WILL BE ON THE BALLOT FOR THE APRIL 8, 2014, MUNICIPAL ELECTION AND DIRECTING AN IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF THE MEASURE BY THE CITY ATTORNEY NO. 13-87 PROVIDING FOR THE FILING OF REBUTTAL ARGUMENTS FOR CITY MEASURES SUBMITTED AT MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS

Recommendation that the City Council revise if desired, and adopt Resolution No. 13-82 requesting the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors provide services for the April 8, 2014 Municipal election; No. 13-85 calling for and giving notice of the holding of a General Municipal election to be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 and Ordinance No. 1349 Amending the City’s Utility Users Tax; No. 13-86 authorizing certain Council Members to submit arguments regarding the UUT measure and directing the City Attorney to prepare the impartial analysis of the measure; No. 13- 87 providing for the filing of rebuttal arguments for City measures; and No. 13-88 adopting regulations for candidates’ statements submitted to the voters.
NO. 13-88
REGULATIONS
CANDIDATES’
SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AT AN ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
ADOPTING FOR STATEMENTS

3. DISCUSSION – Recommendation that the City Council provide staff with CONSIDERATION OF ALLOCATION OF direction. GENERAL FUND RESERVES FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

Nothing there about putting Sierra Madre's Sex Offender Ordinance into mothballs that I can see.

Now there was a closed session with the City Attorney. A strictly hush-hush get together with the greatest legal mind we've ever known plus our elected City Council officials. A couple of whom were often only marginally sentient while in office. Here's a screen shot of that rhythm.


I have what I think are some relevant questions. Sierra Madre's Sex Offender Ordinance was passed with great fanfare by the City Council in open session a few years back. Under state law there is just no other way that it could have been done. To do otherwise would be a violation of the Brown Act

So wouldn't putting such an ordinance on legal hold also have to be done in a properly agendized and quite public City Council meeting? That would certainly be my contention.

Perhaps this was done in secret because no City Council member would ever dare to do such a thing in full sight of God and man? Especially when you consider that there was an election coming up very soon?

That could have been it.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

48 comments:

  1. just marry one and be done with it!October 12, 2014 at 6:11 AM

    Thank god we have brave lawyers who have devoted their lives to securing the constitutional right of convicted sex offenders like our own Mr. A West to live where they want, travel where they want, and ogle where they want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. who's John Doe?

      why hide?

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  2. Where'd she park her broomstick?

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. This is unbelievable if true. This means we were lied to by the Chief, the council, the city manager, the commission. What do we do about this now? What a sell out.

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    1. Fire them all.

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    2. certainly there has to be a record of how much we paid the lawyer

      and shouldn't the city (us) have a right to know which of our esteemed sex offenders sued us?

      the lawyer is scum - a victory for "all" registered citizens?

      no, it's about 4 and herself

      lowlife

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  4. The dirty child molester funded group did away with the rights of children, and the laws that protect them. We know they have yet to require Bob Matheson to register, and it was because they did away with the ordinance that would require it. Yup this is child molester heaven here in Sierra Madre, they will be moving here in droves from Phelan what used to be the child molester capitol, no longer the does it offer the action at children that Sierra Madre has fostered.
    California Reform Sex Offender Laws (the nonprofit group) will establish a day care in Kersting Court, right next to the church of Scientology run Mission: Renaissance Fine Art Classes where parents leave their children in the custody of the brain washed L.Ron Hubbard Scientology wackos.
    Good Luck Sierra Madre, keep your children close!

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  5. sure, it's about the rights of sex offenders

    the actual truth about another greedy low life lawyer is buried in the fine print

    the city paid attorney fees and costs - that should be public information

    scummy lawyer

    not about rights about $$$

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  6. What does it matter if the city council repealed the ordinance that required sex offenders to register? Why is this a n issue now? Bob Matheson was arrested with thousands of pedifile films pics and books, and has yet to register. His arrest and conviction happened before the repeal of the ordinance. I contend that if the Sierra Madre police department was already giving special treatment to those they felt were able to establish, that they were a threat to the children in our community; that would be all that was needed to not be required to register. I am not sure how many children the convicts must molest to maintain the quota established by the Sierra Madre chief of police, but it appears we are on track.
    Congrats Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone are you proud of yourself now?

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    Replies
    1. Don't sex offenders have to register with the state?

      so when they move they have to let the local agency know right?

      then cities (with brilliant minds like Nancy Walsh, Josh Moran) can't then decide for themselves that they can pass whatever willy nilly laws they want just cause they want to?

      our law firm should have paid for the settlement amount since they let us get sued and let it get this far

      oh yeah, our law firm got paid for this also - what was the itemized bill for this from them?

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  7. originally, what rights did the Council take away?

    our great legal city attorney and the resident big shot lawyer on Council didn't see this coming when originally passed?

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  8. Two things:
    1) The city lied. Again.
    2) The city got caught. Again.

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  9. wait...what?

    why wasn't this discussed in an open forum?

    cause it'd prejudice the local agency? seriously, really?

    they settled and caved - it was never in litigation - so why not tell us - even after the fact?

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    Replies
    1. Why? They're cowards.

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  10. if you want to donate to this cause, they accept paypal

    http://californiarsol.org/

    being a pedophile is a disorder - not a crime

    http://californiarsol.org/2014/10/pedophilia-a-disorder-not-a-crime-opinion/

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  11. comments from the sex offenders are really nice people website

    "Wake up, America, sex offender registration is a test case in reinstituting slavery," (Tim)

    RE: having to register

    "It is a violation. We are being violated." (Tired of Hiding)

    -----

    don't bother posting comments cause the website has a moderator and will only publish those that are "civil" and respectful of the poor plight of the sex offenders

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    Replies
    1. Disgusting....all pedophiles are criminals and if they had any balls, they would put a gun to their heads. I disapprove of their existence on this planet.

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  12. two of the Councilmembers who lied and hid this from us are on the Council, since the suit has been settled, is it okay ot ask them about it in public comments at a Council meeting?

    or stop Nancy Walsh or Josh Moran (while he's selling a house) and ask them about it?

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  13. It's not the crime, it's the cover up. They hid behind the City Attorney's skirts rather than telling the people of Sierra Madre what they had a right to know. Shame on them!

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  14. My only queston is how that attorney is able to sleep at night.

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    Replies
    1. One of the abilities of great evil is to convince themselves that their atrocities are actually virtues, and their awfulness a form of good.

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    2. It's called RELATIVISM, a vile form of narcissism. In current times it is running rampant throughout the world, we even have to suffer it in Washington DC

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  15. "Crusading civil rights attorney." Thanks Star News. Expect a call to your subscription department Monday morning.

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  16. A possible solution here would be to make child predators and rapists in general subject to life sentences without parole. That way they can live in a state prison instead of lurking around our playgrounds and libraries.

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  17. If a vote was taken by the city council in closed session then they are required under the law to disclose the results of that vote in when they come out in public session. If they failed to do so its not only a cover-up, its an illegal act.

    And Harabedian and Capoccia are responsible.

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    Replies
    1. Mayor Johnny doesn't do responsibility. That is for the little people.

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    2. can't expect ethics from a lawyer that cheated ethics to get elected

      but he can run a good meeting - so he's more of a secretary than a lawyer right?

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    3. if Capoccia or Harabedian run for another term, have to make sure public knows that they lied and hid what was being discussed and voted on regarding sexual predators

      if Harabedian has aspirations for moving up in the political landscape, he keeps burying himself alive

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    4. More of a master of ceremonies. Like George Jessel. Or maybe Dick Clark.

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    5. He will be here all week.

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  18. since Koeber doesn't live here anymore, maybe he'll shed some light on what was discussed and why it was never put in front of the public?

    shameful that our elected officials pass a local law and then back off, which I'm sure they had to legally but why vote for it if they didn't have the backbone to uphold it?

    what's also shameful is we were thinking we had a local law in place to enforce and it was done away with and we were never told not even by the SMPD Chief?

    how's that public safety?

    the rights of 4 residents trumps that of the families with children?

    way to go SMPD and Council - way to go

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    Replies
    1. The city has failed us time and again on the child molester issue. Sadly I was not surprised by this latest outrage.

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    2. Maybe the then Mayor Nancy Walsh can stop by Tuesday evening and explain it.

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  19. Sadly I had a friend whose husband molested their three small children. She snuck out of the state with the kids but the court didn't believe her and made her send them back until finally a first grade teacher made the court listen. Dad belonged to a pedophile organization whose motto was "Sex before eight or it's too late." These people are monsters who dont change.x

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  20. Wonderful ! A community with six schools with active recreational facilities! What happy hunting grounds for sociopaths! So much for the quality of our City Establishment!

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    Replies
    1. If you can't trust elected officials to care for the welfare of children, then what can you trust them with? The answer to that question is nothing.

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  21. Ok, if the aim is to "protetc the children", why pass an ordinance that applies to ALL persons who have to register as sex offendrs?
    Not all prople who have to register are a danger to the community. not all people who have to register are sickos.

    My borther-in-law in now in his early 50s. At age 20, over 30 years ago, he got blind drunk at a frat party and exposed himself to some coeds. So he has to register. He's regreted it everyday therafter. He now has young adult children, is a decent christian man and has been for decades. Why dose he now, all lof a sudden, have to be punished by not being allowed in a park of library? Why does he have to be lumped in wiith child molesters?

    Using the logic of some people above, Maybe we should pass a law keeping city council members out of parks. Because, as you can clearly see from the article below, the potential for abuse of children by a city council person is there. How can we take the risk? we must protect the children.

    And its not an isolated incident. Do a web search and you'll find all sort of councilmen convicted of this:

    http://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/councilman-pleading-guilty-to-child-molesting

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    Replies
    1. Interesting story,however this is about a city which appears to be indifferent to children's welfare.Regarding your in- law,it is regrettable he made the choice he did.

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    2. I agree. Apples and oranges.

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    3. Sorry, 1:42. But I am not your bother's keeper.

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  22. Has anyone addressed this matter to Harabedian or Capocchia? We should be doing that, right?

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    Replies
    1. You could. But what do you think they will tell you? That they hid all of this from you for your own good?

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  23. The second sentence of this article wrongly assumes that all convicted sex offenders are child molesters or pedophiles. That's the logic underlying the SM ordinance and others like it, and that's why they are being struck down by the courts and is likely why SM's being put on hold. They are too broad and based upon faulty logic. As they are written now, a 60 year old grandfather who has to register for something unrelated to kids that happened 40 years ago cannot take his grandkids to a Sierra Madre park.

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    Replies
    1. Unrelated to kids - how so?

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    2. try the example a few posts up. a college guy flashes college students 30 years ago still has to register and is barred from the parks or any offense where the victim is in her 30's or 40's. these qualify as sex offenses under the law but have nothing to do with children, child molestation or pedophilia.

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    3. This is a Sierra Madre blog and the focus is going to be on local issues. You need to remember that. Plus the topic is more about the actions of the local government agency than the issue you are concerned about.

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    4. The council and the tattler have made these laws a local issue. I tried to answer why I think the city is not enforcing one of its laws. I think it realizes that the law is unconstitutionally overbroad, it won't be upheld in court and could end up costing the city a lot of money. The city leaders are likely mute on the issue because they don't have the courage to admit these truths.

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