Change could come to West Carthage following the weekend’s incident with a Pleasant Night Inn resident

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 5:19 PM EDT
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WEST CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - From the windows of the Pleasant Night Inn you can see a nearby park. During the summer months kids fill the baseball fields and playground.

For months, the county Department of Social Services and the state Department of Corrections has housed clients there, some are sex offenders.

With no state law prohibiting sex offenders from living this close to a park, village leaders and Town of Champion leaders have asked Jefferson County to change the way DSS works.

It looks like that’s going to happen with a short-term solution that would have DSS vet their clients before putting them up at the motel. It’s sort of a background check.

District 13 Legislator Scott Gray, speaking on behalf of County Chair Bill Johnson, had this to say:

“If somebody has for instance, if they’re not registered, but in the incident like we saw yesterday, a history of something along that line, then they’re best not suited for that area. They’re best suited for something that’s a little more isolated,” said Gray.

Gray is alluding to Elvin Nieves, who resided at the Pleasant Night Inn. He is not a sex offender. Over the weekend, he was seen by a handful of park goers allegedly exposing and touching himself in view of two girls on the playground.

Nieves was issued a public lewdness ticket. After he was let go, he was arrested again after allegedly going to the mayor’s house and harassing Scott Burto and his wife.

Gray says more discussions with the board will take place next week, but Mayor Burto says he’ll believe it when he sees it.

“It’s good to hear that maybe we have caught their eye and might now start making some changes, but it’s unfortunate the things that have happened to get us to this point,” said Burto.

Burto says he’s heard from many concerned parents about the events of this past weekend. He says he’ll be sitting down and addressing those concerns with them, at 7 PM Thursday at the park.

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