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Officials want DSS to relocate dangerous sex offenders

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 5:08 PM EDT
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WEST CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - Putting Level 3 sex offenders in a West Carthage hotel has 2 elected officials calling out Jefferson County’s Department of Social Services.

Town of Champion Councilman James Uhlinger says it’s a lack of policy and oversight by the county and is asking for DSS to change its relocation policies.

This comes after two Level 3 sex offenders, considered the most dangerous by the state, were put up at the Pleasant Night Inn in West Carthage.

The village’s mayor, Scott Burto, says the motel is located too close to a park.

“It’s come to a breaking point. We’ve been dealing with this problem since about February since other hotels and residencies in Jefferson County has been condemned,” said Uhlinger.

“We understand that homelessness is a serious problem here in the county. We just feel like there’s been no guidance or leadership at DSS to look for options outside of what’s most convenient for them,” said Burto.

Placing people became more of a challenge for the county after other options either burned down or were condemned.

DSS Commissioner Teresa Gaffney says the county is following state rules when placing sex offenders and that those rules state sex offenders can’t be placed near schools. It doesn’t include parks.

Mayor Burto says the state law should change because at the park in West Carthage, near the motel, kids play little league baseball in the summer.

Late Tuesday afternoon, one of the Level 3 sex offenders at the West Carthage motel has been moved out.

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