AREA NEWSThe Putnam Examiner

PV Town Board Passes Resolution: No Sex Offenders in Our Town

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Robert Tendy
Putnam Valley Supervisor Robert Tendy

After rumors spread through town that Putnam County was planning on housing a group of convicted sex offenders who had been released from prison in Putnam Valley, the town board first discussed and then passed a resolution urging the county not do so.

“Well I don’t know if they are going to…We’ve heard it’s a possibility and we want to make sure that does not happen,” Town Supervisor Robert Tendy said at the board’s May work session.

According to state law, Putnam County has a legal obligation to provide housing for homeless sex offenders after they are released on parole or are on probation.

Recently, County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced that all sex offenders living in Putnam County would be outfitted with Global Positioning System tracking devices so that law enforcement would be able to know their whereabouts at all times.

This news gave little comfort to Councilwoman Jacqueline Annabi.

“That’s an issue, they are going to put  GPS on them so the [sheriffs] can see them from their station and they will know where they are, which gives them more of a reason to bring them to a secluded area like Putnam Valley or Lake Peekskill. I’m just worried and I would like to protect our town if we can.”

Supervisor Tendy noted the distance of Putnam Valley from the county seat, which is where county law enforcement is concentrated.

“I would say since the vast majority of real estate in Putnam County dealing with law enforcement is located out of Putnam Valley it would make little sense, to me, to house sex offenders far away from [law enforcement],” he said.

One week later after the resolution asking Putnam County not to house the homeless sex offenders in Putnam Valley had been read, Putnam County Legislator Sam Oliverio told the town board there was no truth to it.

“Actually, this is kind of like a preemptive strike. It was a rumor. I spoke to MaryEllen Odell about this today and she said there’s no truth to it, there’s no plan to do that. However, until last week, for, I assume good reasons, this became a rumor and people were concerned about it. So to allay their fears, we thought we would pass this resolution,” Supervisor Tendy said.

Oliverio said that while the county government is trying to identify a location where three sex offenders might be housed together, that Putnam Valley was never considered as a location. He took issue with language in the resolution that called for homeless sex offenders to be housed at locations spread out around the county.

“We had talked about housing them in a location together so that probation, parole and the sheriff’s department could observe them,” Oliverio said. “The only thing I would disagree with on the resolution is the insistence that they be spread throughout the county. That’s even worse. I would rather concentrate them in one place and have them under the eyes of the law.”

Oliverio said that New York State law gave the county no choice on the matter and that the state had shirked their responsibility for not keeping Level One sex offenders in jail longer, given their very high rate of recidivism.

In the end, the Town Board amended the language of the resolution, the gist of which stated that it was unwise for Putnam County to house homeless sex offenders in Putnam Valley due to its distance from county law enforcement facilities. All the town board members voted in favor of the resolution.

“My goal is to make sure they don’t house them here in Putnam Valley,” Councilwoman Annabi said.

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