Council to revisit sex-offender park ban

The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to consider instituting a reward for help in identifying vandals and repealing a law that aims to rein in the movements of sex offenders.

The Police Department has recommended that the council consider revoking a 2012 ordinance that bans registered sex offenders from entering city parks and sports facilities without law enforcement permission.

Costa Mesa’s ordinance was similar to ones passed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Irvine City Council.

Two state appellate court decisions, however, have ruled against the legality of the Irvine and county ordinances.

According to city staff, the Orange County district attorney’s office, which supports the ban, will probably appeal the decisions to the state Supreme Court.

Staff also noted that Costa Mesa is also facing its own lawsuit against the sex offender ordinance. The case, John Doe vs. City of Costa Mesa, is pending in federal court.

The lawsuit, filed in 2012, originally targeted Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Costa Mesa, Police Chief Tom Gazsi, and the cities of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Lake Forest and their police chiefs.

Lake Forest, its police chief and Hutchens have since been dropped from the lawsuit, according to federal court documents.


Vandalism rewards

The council will also review a proposed ordinance that would provide a reward of up to $2,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of vandals.

It would be similar to the reward already offered in the city’s municipal code regarding graffiti, according to city staff.

City staff said the proposed reward would encourage residents to assist police in catching suspected vandals.

“The cost of repairing and restoring public property following vandalism cannot be recouped if the perpetrator is not arrested and convicted,” according to city documents.

The council meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

—Daily Pilot staff writer Jeremiah Dobruck also contributed to this report.