Wednesday, June 9, 2010

UPDATES, Wednesday June 9 : Ohio Esorn and Public Defender

UPDATE, Wednesday June 9, (4:00 pm): spoke with an Ohio County Public Defender, Steve Brown of the Ohio Attorney General's office and Ted Hart (Ohio AG Esorn Deputy Director of Media Relations) today.

The unnamed Ohio County Public Defender had no new information about when we can expect to see compliance action from the Attorney General and Sheriff Departments, but did talk to us about the Ohio Supreme Court decision (Bodyke vs, Ohio). As we had expected, he agrees that the Supreme Court basically bypassed looking at any of the Ex Post Facto, Double Jeopardy or other constitutional challenges in the Bodyke decision. He feels that this 'Separation of Powers' issue really got under the skin of the Court, as was clear from watching the oral arguments. Courts do not like when Legislatures try to bypass their constitutional role. Therefore, these other constitutional arguments are still undecided at the Ohio Supreme Court level and could be brought back in other challenges.

As for the idea of pursuing some judicial order from the courts in order to force the hand of the local Sheriff Departments, he suggested that we wait 14-21 days before we pursue such course. As we all know, government is always slow and usually incompetent. This is why they have taken absolutely no action since last Thursday June 3rd. If we do not see any concrete action by the last week of June, he suggests that we contact our local Public Defender's Offices and ask them about pursuing such legal action.

Steve Brown , of the Ohio Attorney General's office still had "no time line" for when action will be taken by the A.G. office. This is the same story we got from Ted Hart, A.G.Deputy Director of Media Relations. I asked both why we cannot see at least some action being taken. Steve Brown's office told me on Monday June 7th that he was in the process of sending out "Guidelines and FAQ's to the county Sheriff Departments", directing them as to what to do when invalidated registrants contact their offices.

I asked him today if they had been sent to Sheriff Departments. He said "no".
I asked him when they would be sent. He replied that they "have no time line for anything".

Shouldn't the Ohio Attorney General's office, at the very least, have a time line formulated a week after the Supreme Court ruling? Both of these two bureaucrats have told me repeatedly that letters will be sent to all those registrants who are affected by the ruling. When asked when these letters will be sent, neither would give us a date range. Steve Brown told me that his office is receiving many calls from citizens. Ted Hart said that his office was receiving very few calls from citizens about this re-classification process

Look ...we all know that if the Supreme Court or Ohio Legislature had somehow instated some new registration requirement for sex offenders, they would miraculously be able to start the process immediately of updating their computer database and adding all the new registered sex offenders virtually overnight. But because they are not happy about this Court decision, they are acting like spoiled little children and dragging their feet on this, refusing to comply until forced to do so.

We spoke to two computer IT professionals (one of whom consults for the U.S. Federal Government) to ask them how long the process of updating such a database would take. Both gave the same answer: " it can be done easily in an hour".

This is why we all must call them daily to force them to take action and comply with the Ohio Supreme Court ruling. Anyone concerned about reforming sex offender laws must call, email or write to the Ohio Attorney General' office daily until they agree to comply with the law.

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