Sex offender ordinance lawsuit to go to trial

Commerce – The Commerce City Council in executive session Tuesday night took no action toward a settlement agreement resolving a lawsuit against the city's sex offender policy.

The agreement died for lack of motion by a city council member and a trial date has now been set for November in the case, according to Commerce City Attorney Jim McElroy.

"Obviously there's always an opportunity for settlement; but at the same time our posture right now is and I'm sure that the plaintiff's posture right now is this effort was not successful so let's proceed and get ready," says McElroy.

Commerce passed a sex offender ordinance in November, 2007 only to suspend enforcement of the policy when the lawsuit was filed over a year ago. A registered sex offender filed the suit, indicating the ordinance infringed upon his rights as a resident to be in a specific place or attend a specific event.

The policy states that registered sex offenders are restricted from living within 1,000 feet of a private elementary or secondary school, daycare, park or playground. They would also be barred in any city park and would not be allowed to loiter within 300 feet of a park. Those who lived within the 1,000 ft. regulation when the ordinance was first implemented would not be forced to move.