Orange County DA wants hearing after ruling tosses out county's sex offender ordinance

Orange County district attorney Tony Rackauckas in Orange County Superior Court, January 2014.
Orange County district attorney Tony Rackauckas in Orange County Superior Court, January 2014.
Joshua Sudock/Pool Photo

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The Orange County District Attorney will ask the state Supreme Court to review a recent appeal's court ruling that struck down a county ordinance restricting convicted sex offenders at public parks and beaches.

The District Attorney's Chief of Staff, Susan Kang Schroeder said Monday the state's top court will be asked to hear the matter after a state appeals court Friday court struck down the county's law which bans registered sex offenders from parks and beaches without getting permission from police. More than 10 cities within the county, at the urging of District Atty. Tony Rackauckas, have adopted similar ordinances in the past several years. 

"We still believe we're correct on the law that protects children from sex offenders, and the DA will send a writ to the California Supreme Court asking for a hearing on the issue," Kang Schroeder said.  

The appeal judges ruled that state laws regulating sex offenders supersede local ordinances. California law restricts where sex offenders can live, and some offenders are required to wear GPS monitors. 

But Kang Schroeder said the DA's office doesn't believe the state intended to speak "on every aspect of sex offenders" and that municipalities, like Orange County, have the "right and duty to keep children safe."

The Orange County ordinance made it a misdemeanor for registered sex offenders to go into county parks or beaches without permission from the county sheriff.

A registered sex offender was convicted of violating the county ordinance when he entered a county park in 2011. The appeals court decision tossed out the conviction.