July 25, 2011
BALLSTON SPA - Until last week, registered sex offenders in Saratoga County couldn't live or work within one-thousand feet of a playground, daycare center or public pool.
Those restrictions were in addition to state law requiring sex offenders to live more than one-thousand feet from schools.
But Saratoga County Judge Jerry Scarano is the latest to overturn county laws restricting where offenders can live or work. The judge's ruling, based on an appeal from a Ballston Spa sex offender, said state law supercedes county law.
According to the judge's decision, the sex offender lived or worked within a thousand feet of St. Mary's School.
The judge ordered the charge against the offender dismissed.
"Hooray for Saratoga County for seeing the light," says attorney Terry Kindlon who has been challenging county laws restricting sex offenders because they force them to "go underground" where they can't be monitored. "They could not live anywhere."
Kindlon says, "The sex offender will try to comply with the law, find it's impossible to comply and eventually says 'the hell with it."'
Saratoga County Attorney Stephen Dorsey says he'll recommend that his Board of Supervisors not appeal the judge's ruling. "I don't see any point in beating a dead horse."
The county public defender has asked that any cases citing the county law should be "summarily dismissed."
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