Saturday, December 5, 2009

IN - Sex offender ban up for final vote at Jeffersonville City County meeting

Original Article


Ordinance bars registered offenders from entering parks

An ordinance that bans registered sex offenders from entering city parks is up for a final vote by the Jeffersonville City Council this week.

The council meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Jeffersonville City Hall, 500 Quartermaster Court.

The ordinance, unanimously supported on previous readings, has been the subject of legal controversy during the few last years. It was first introduced in 2006 but was challenged with the help of the Indiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (Contact).

The ordinance up for consideration on Monday, which removes an exemption process labeled as overly burdensome by the Indiana Court of Appeals, acts as an update to the 2006 legislation.

Also on the agenda:

  • The council is expected to vote one last time on a sewer bond ordinance. The ordinance, funded by recent sewer rate increases, will pay for $52.2 million in sewer system improvements — including a new treatment plant on the north end of the city.

    Council members, along with Mayor Tom Galligan, have said that the increases were necessary as the city has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to correct sewer overflows.
  • An ordinance regulating billboard benches is on the agenda. The issue was first brought to the council’s attention last year, after the city’s beautification committee — called City Pride — wanted to replace the bench with the decorative, green city of Jeffersonville benches that are used on Court Avenue.

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

WV - Apology brings closure to Webster defamation suit

Original Article


By Lawrence Smith

CHARLESTON - A month prior to her appointment as the newest Kanawha Circuit judge, a Charleston attorney, and chairwoman of the House of Delegates' Judiciary Committee was able to conclude a defamation suit filed against her by a South Charleston man by apologizing for her erroneous statement.

In July, Richard J. "Christian" Lindroth filed suit against both Webster, and the law firm of Bailey, Bucci and Javins for defamation. In his suit, Lindroth said Webster falsely accused him of being "a registered sex offender."

The registered sex offender reference came in an answer Webster filed on May 15 in the course of representing Lindroth's mother-in-law, Debbie McMillian, in a lawsuit Lindroth and his wife, Angela, filed against McMillian and the state Department of Health and Human Resources. In that suit, the Lindroths accused DHHR, one of its employees, Tamica Tolliver, and the company that operates its child-support collection system, Policy Studies Inc., of improperly withholding $1,269.59 from Angela, and giving it to McMillian while she had custody of Angela's daughter, Mya Shaw, in 2006 and 2007.

Court records show, McMillian was granted temporary custody of Mya, who at the time was 2- years-old, after Christian was charged in July 2006 on one count each of child abuse resulting in injury, child neglect resulting in injury and malicious wounding. As part of plea agreement, Lindroth was sentencing in February 2008 to two years home confinement for unlawful wounding, with credit for time served, and was registered with the State Police's Child Abuse and Neglect Registry.

In answering Lindroth's defamation suit, Webster said the reference to him being as sex offender was not done maliciously, and a motion was made to Judge Jennifer Walker, who's presiding over the Lindroth-DHHR suit, to have the reference expunged. However, citing a prior state Supreme Court ruling, Webster said attorneys, in the course of defending their clients, enjoy an absolute privilege to make defamatory statements so long "as it has some relation to the proceeding."

Before a scheduled hearing on Oct. 30 could be held on both Webster's, and a separate, but similar motion to dismiss McMillian made, the case was dismissed. According to L. Jill McIntyre, attorney for both Webster, and Bailey, Bucci and Javins, Lindroth agreed to dismiss the suit when Webster offered him an apology.

"She acknowledged she made an inadvertent remark about Mr. Lindroth being a sex offender when it should have been about the child abuse registry, and she apologized," said McIntrye speaking on Webster's behalf. "She expressed regret to Mr. Lindroth and he decided he did not want to pursue the case any further."

Records show Judge Irene C. Berger dismissed the case on Oct. 29. Gov. Joe Manchin on Dec. 2 appointed Webster as Berger's replacement following her approval by the U.S. Senate to become a federal district judge.

Prior to her appointment as circuit judge, Webster served for eight years as the lone delegate representing Kanawha County in the 31st House District. Following his election by the House as Speaker in 2007, Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, appointed Webster as judiciary chair.

Because she was appointed prior to January 2010, Webster will have to run in November's general election to fill Berger's unexpired term.

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved